Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Greater White-Fronted Goose and Me
A few mornings ago I was out on Kepuhi Beach and noticed this goose. It was all alone, and judging by the footprints in the sand, had been having a nice long walk on the beach. The only goose that I know of that's home to the islands is the NeNe, a beautiful little endangered species found mostly in the "up country" areas; and I was pretty sure this wasn't a NeNe. It was aware of me but not frightened, and ambled slowly, stopping occasionally to preen for me as I took photos. I found out later that this is a Greater White-Fronted Goose, that it's likely from Siberia, and that it took a wrong turn during its long migration and ended up here.
I'm thinking this goose and I might have a lot in common. Though I don't know that I necessarily took a wrong turn, I do know I've ended up on this small island feeling alone and isolated, and very much challenged. Despite my first rush of excitement when the plans to come here were made, it has not been as I had hoped. Two years ago I spent three months out on the remote west end and not only did I never feel lonely or isolated, I experienced a huge amount of opening and joy. Last time I was grieving and feeling incredibly lost, but had not been clinically depressed; this time, with depression still lingering, day by day I feel it moving once again closer, blowing in like thick gray fog on a strong onshore breeze. I've moved from one living situation to another hoping that would change things; but the second one is not working out either.
I'm not sure what today will hold. I left the new digs not planning to stay another night. I will either have a new place to stay, one nearer the ocean, or I will have changed my reservations and will be home earlier than I expected.
We just never know what life will bring. And in spite of what we most often think, we are never in control of what it brings. It's probably even true that we are never actually lost. Ever. What made this goose turn and land on this island? What was it that made us meet a few mornings ago on the beach? How will it know when it's time to fly off again? How will I know...? Are we puppets being animated from some large, knowing hands above? What about our own instincts, our own internal knowing, that if we stopped long enough might reveal itself? Today it seems is more a day of questions than of answers. And surprisingly, I'm okay with that.