A Gentle Whisper in Flight

Hundreds and hundreds of geese flying overhead in chevrons, lines, and groups which were morphing into other formations, lines, and multi-layered chevrons as I watched. Speechless, I saw the seemingly endless intersections of birds squawking as they flew. The cascade of thousands of honks sounded like a multitudinous chorus of squeaks so far above me.

Geese Photo by Mary Dessein

I had initially looked up upon hearing the first few and thought, “It’s early December, late for geese,” as I stood there in the parking lot on that late afternoon, getting near dusk. The black bodies of the geese in flight clearly visible against the soft grey sky. Then I saw the zillions of birds in the distance, wave after wave of them, coming from different but analogous directions to swoop together, then diverge into another chevron while still others melded into the massive movement.

Fluctuating, reforming constantly.
Captivated, I watched for at least fifteen minutes until just a few strands of birds straggled behind the swarm.

The glory of being in the right place at the right time. And taking the time.

A couple weeks later, between Snohomish and Monroe, were again thousands of geese. This time, white snow geese. They were flying, swirling like a magnificent tornado, their wings catching the pink-tinged, golden light of the late afternoon sun. The distant sound of their honking a gentle whisper that I held my breath in order to hear.
Looking for their evening settlement, their safe place. Yes, I know that search. I bet you do, too.

In the last few days of sub-zero weather, I’ve watched the calypte anna hummingbirds zip around the feeder on my porch, then land on the clothes-line, or on the near naked fuchsia branches in the hanging basket. The calypte anna is the species of hummingbird that does not migrate. It seems 12 degree weather does not slow them down any. Interestingly, hummingbirds cannot walk. Their tiny feet are made for perching.
Imagine that: flying at near lightening speed, shining like a jewel in the sun, and not being able to walk. Yet not knowing any of those things, as the hummingbirds are simply being who they are.

Being in the right place at the right time and simply being who you truly are.
My search goes on.


  • Meg Philp

    February 8, 2019 at 9:09 pm Reply

    Nature is a wonderful experience. Love your post, Mary. Reminded me of a similar experience in Cornwall many years ago. Awesome. Thanks

    • Mary

      February 8, 2019 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Thank you, Meg. It is just starting to snow here, I am watching the ginormous white cloud moving in. Hug to you.

  • Aletha Helm Riter

    February 8, 2019 at 9:18 pm Reply

    Oh Mary my dear…. you have done it again…you like me have a way with words…I felt like I was right there at the right time looking there with you at all the beauty in our world. Your thoughts and words are so passionate and elegantly written….so true from the heart. I enjoy your blog so much…
    Thank you

    • Mary

      February 8, 2019 at 9:35 pm Reply

      Aletha, thank you so much. It is wonderful to know my blogs resonate with you. Thank you for taking the time to read them and to comment.

  • robin dachenhausen

    February 8, 2019 at 10:22 pm Reply

    whenever life gives you the gift of beauty, take it, appreciate it, and share it. way to smelling the roses Mary.

    • Mary

      February 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm Reply

      Yup! Thank you, Robin. I bet you’ve got some beautiful snow to gaze out at~

  • Barry McWilliams

    February 8, 2019 at 10:34 pm Reply

    The snow geese winter here. Most mornings Vee’s go over North Everett heading to fields along the Snohomish and Snoqualmie to feed. They head back to their roosting area on Fir Island, near La Conner often after dark. You usually hear them first, then spot them, white against a dark sky. Come spring they will return to the far North to nest. A Northwest delight!

    • Mary

      February 9, 2019 at 12:06 am Reply

      Hi Barry, aren’t they something? Thanks for checking in.

  • Joy Ross

    February 8, 2019 at 11:24 pm Reply

    Such a good reminder….being in the right place at the right time…and TAKING the time!!!

    thanks for sharing your story…………..J

    • Mary

      February 9, 2019 at 12:07 am Reply

      Hola Story Sister. Glad you liked it, I enjoyed it too. Best to you.

  • Lynda Condon

    February 9, 2019 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I love your words, Mary and you know how much I love nature, a perfect merge in your story 🙂

    • Mary

      February 9, 2019 at 9:43 pm Reply

      Thank you, Lynda. I do know how you love nature – I much appreciate you kind words, too. Best to you~

  • Allen Hilderbrand

    February 10, 2019 at 12:39 am Reply

    As I read your poem Mary it drew me into a flight of feelings that was as soft and as flowing as the flight of your sighted birds. I waited as you described your feeling and felt the warmth that you were expressing as the birds made their homes for the day. Listening as well as reading your words as always have many levels of meanings that shape our understanding of our own ecosystems that we share. I am and will always appreciate your spoken words as you leave your imprint upon my journey in time……

    • Mary

      February 10, 2019 at 2:47 am Reply

      Wow Allen, thank you. You figured out I love writing, and to reach a place of meaning for you – my day is complete. Best and thanks again for taking the time to read and to comment.

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