Just ask anyone in my family: as a rule, I don’t like geese. My spouse has watched, laughing hysterically, as a goose chased me across a park in St. Louis and, as I describe it, tried to peck my eyes out. OK, so maybe it was just squawking loudly in the direction of my face. But, seeing goose tongue and teeth does make a memorable and lasting impression. Over the years, my daughter has jokingly teased me whenever we have a goose siting, “Mom…look…it’s going to chase you!”
While I don’t actually have goose phobia, I admittedly have a general dislike for the squawking, long-neck water fowl. This began during the summer I worked as a camp counselor in upstate New York. A gaggle of Canadian Geese found their way onto the small lake around which our camp was built. In one long weekend of indulgence, they feasted all day and excreted all night. I drew the short straw in the counselor lottery (literally) and it was my job to scoop all the goose poop from the front yard of the dining hall. I filled three huge lawn trash barrels with goose excrement that day. So, I think I have a right to hold a bit of a grudge.
And yet, here I am, less than 24 hours from a total camped-out weekend immersion into the Wild Goose Festival. In spite of my checkered history with its winged namesake, I am totally excited. I am ready to forge a new relationship with the goose.
In fact, I am hoping for a wild goose chase.
I have no idea what kind (if any) internet or network connection I will have out in the woods with throngs of other progressive, spiritual, artsy, justice-seeking types…but my plan is to keep on blogging here, as “live time” as possible, about the small points of light I encounter. I shall be chasing the spirit of the goose this time, and taking in this opportunity to fully immerse myself in experience. I may be a couple years past my camping prime, but this thing is all about who I am at my core. So, I am going to just run with that…
Since I am told the festival’s namesake…the wild goose…is a Celtic metaphor for the a Holy Spirit, I already know I have been caught many times. Without a doubt, Spirit has caught me off guard, unaware, at my most vulnerable. Every time, the result has been more incredible than I could have imagined. The twists and turns of the journey have rocked my plans multiple times, and I am aware of all that wondrous chaos emerging again in the midst of my journey right now. I would have it no other way. I know not to be afraid; my eyes have never been pecked out, I have never been thrown off a cliff and in fact, I have learned to welcome the adventure of learning new patterns of flight and finding new dimensions of healing, growth, and service that emerge from every encounter.
So, these next days, I will let the spirit of the wild goose lead. I will delight in telling the tales of my goose chase, whenever I catch a glimpse of that spirit. I hope that some of you will stay tuned here to see what emerges in story, poetry, and photography. And, if you have a chance, give a little squawk of support…or say a prayer…for me on this wild goose chase on which I am about to embark.