|Father's Day goslings|
Photo by J. Harrington
It's the time of year when goslings are out and about and often underfoot, making geese and ganders annoyed with any creature about to step on their offspring, or with the offspring themselves, or both. I doubt that those who decided we need a Father's Day thought about Canada geese goslings, sandhill crane colts, or other recent hatchlings, when a Sunday in late-June was selected as the day to honor fathers in the US and many other countries.
I find it much easier to visualize the young of geese and cranes than those of hummingbirds. Trying to picture something smaller than my thumb as a parent stretches my imagination almost to the breaking point. From the online descriptions of family life, geese and crane dads are much more help than hummer dads. I doubt that female hummingbirds, or their chicks, do much to celebrate Father's Day for dads whose parenting "skills" are close to nonexistant. In many parts of the animal kingdom, a "dad's" role is extremely limited. We humans seem to include a range of paternal behavior almost as widespread as that in all the rest of nature. Those of us lucky enough to have, have had, or be half-way decent fathers probably take much too much for granted how lucky we are, as we do about many aspects of life. Tomorrow there will be fathers wishing their children were with them and children wishing they had a father to hug. If you're lucky enough to be able to give your dad or child a hug, don't limit it to a special day. Do it every chance you get. Like geese and cranes and hummingbirds, children grow and life moves on soon enough, often too soon.
The Season of Phantasmal Peace
Then all the nations of birds lifted togetherthe huge net of the shadows of this earthin multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,stitching and crossing it. They lifted upthe shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill—the net rising soundless as night, the birds' cries soundless, untilthere was no longer dusk, or season, decline, or weather,only this passage of phantasmal lightthat not the narrowest shadow dared to sever.And men could not see, looking up, what the wild geese drew,what the ospreys trailed behind them in silvery ropesthat flashed in the icy sunlight; they could not hearbattalions of starlings waging peaceful cries,bearing the net higher, covering this worldlike the vines of an orchard, or a mother drawingthe trembling gauze over the trembling eyesof a child fluttering to sleep;it was the lightthat you will see at evening on the side of a hillin yellow October, and no one hearing knewwhat change had brought into the raven's cawing,the killdeer's screech, the ember-circling choughsuch an immense, soundless, and high concernfor the fields and cities where the birds belong,except it was their seasonal passing, Love,made seasonless, or, from the high privilege of their birth,something brighter than pity for the wingless onesbelow them who shared dark holes in windows and in houses,and higher they lifted the net with soundless voicesabove all change, betrayals of falling suns,and this season lasted one moment, like the pausebetween dusk and darkness, between fury and peace,but, for such as our earth is now, it lasted long.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.