When You Return: A True Story

Last night, my mom told me something incredible that I had forgotten about my time on Little Hunting Creek. One day, a Canada goose flopped around in our backyard with a broken wing. He was obviously in distress and obviously in pain. Our neighbor’s teenage daughter came to help us catch the goose to then call Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. She wrapped her arms around the goose and placed the huge creature in our garden shed until the experts could come to help.

They came and took the goose away, and my mom and the neighbors called every few days to check on the healing progress of this magnificent injured bird. Several weeks later–it might have been two months–the experts came to finally release the healed goose back to Little Hunting Creek.

The neighbors and my family gathered on the dock as the goose was slowly released back into the water.

And then, something extraordinary happened that changed us, that brought tears to our eyes, and that silenced us along with all of nature that day.

The Canada goose began honking, his cries loud and clear across the water. Then, in a rapid response from all directions, geese rose up and began to fly towards him as he sat on the water. They kept coming, honking out until a whole assembly of geese surrounded the returning goose. They began splashing up the water with their wings so it looked like a fountain of celebration around him.

And then—silence.

They all floated off together in perfect peace.

And so it will be when you also return from wherever you’ve been. The family is there–the community awaits–to surround you and celebrate you.

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