The Goose Who Tried to Keep the Summer
There was once an old Wild Goose who had led the flock of other wild geese every fall for years and years on their way south. He had a thick coat of white feathers, he wore orange-colored boots, and his bill was like a gold trumpet when he opened it to call,
Honk, honk, honk!
That was the signal for the others to rise from the meadows and the marshes. Over the woods and the fields and the waters, everyone looked for the old Wild Goose in the fall.
Honk, honk, honk!
That was the Wild Goose telling them that it was time to get ready for the winter in the woods, and in the fields, and over the waters. He lived in a marsh that was sheltered on both sides by trees and was comfortable, even if there was a frost now and then. A robin had once stayed in those trees all winter and he sang proudly about it.
“Why do I trouble to go south?” the old Wild Goose thought to himself. “The weather here will not grow cold if I stay. Honk, honk; I shall not trouble myself to migrate this fall and I shall keep the summer!”
No one knew what the Goose had decided, and they listened for him. Honk, honk, cried all the other wild geese. “It is time to migrate! Come with us!”
Honk, honk, honk, cried the old Wild Goose, from the sheltered marsh where he did not know what was going on. “I am not flying south this year. I am staying north to keep the summer.”
Honk, honk, “What a terrible time it will be!” cried all the other geese. They talked among themselves, saying that no good could come from ignoring the turning seasons and they all went south without him.
Soon winter came. Everyone was ready for him except the Wild Goose. An icy wind blew through his feathers. His throat was so stiff with cold that he could not blow his trumpet. His orange boots froze stiff as the marsh turned to ice. “It must be the winter coming in spite of me,” he thought to himself. “It seems that I have not kept him away after all. What shall I do?”
Then a sunbeam, that was still strong enough to help a little, heard the faint cries of the old Wild Goose and was sorry for him. She melted the ice so that the Goose could pull out his feet, first one, and then the other. She stood for a moment in winter’s path as the Goose rose and stretched his stiff wings, and then started south.
The chilly air was like a blast on his head. He was obliged to fly slowly, but he managed to call as he went, “Honk, honk, Here I am. I fly to tell you that winter has come. We cannot stop the seasons after all!”
Taking it Home:
Family Activity: Chalice for the Seasons
Do you have a chalice you light at home as a family? One way to welcome the seasons is to create chalices that represent each one. You can use something simple like a Mason Jar and some Mod Podge.
Collect items that represent the different seasons – autumn leaves, paper snowflakes, spring’s blue raindrops and summer’s bright flowers. Cover the jar with Mod Podge and then stick the items on each one. Once they are finished, cover with a second layer of Mod Podge and let them dry. Place a tea light inside and watch your seasonal chalice glow!
As you change out from one season to the next, create a special family meal and share your gratitude for your favorite moments of the past season and what you are looking forward to in the season to come. A simple family ritual such as this one helps to ground and center us in the comfort of the changing seasons and will help hold us steady even in times of great change.