Column, Mountain Meditation

Mountain Meditation: Animal sightings and signs part 4: One lucky duck and Canada Geese


      My husband Duane and our Black Lab Luke had a magical experience years ago near the boat ramp in Kent Pond. A female Mallard was caught in a fishline. Duane fetched his trusty Swiss Army knife then told Luke to “stay” on the shoreline. He waded out. The ducks swam away that surrounded the Mallard. She looked in Duane’s eyes. He said, “I’m here to help” as held her steady, snipped the fishline and disentangled her webbed feet. The duck in distress quacked with relief and swam away happily to her family. Luke stayed seated on the shore until the emergency had passed. (Good dog!)

The following year we hiked the Appalachian Trail along Kent Pond’s shore (AT’s prettiest section, many say). Duane sat to rest on a log with a view while Luke and I walked further ahead. Soon, a female mallard swam close by and nibbled her way up onto the bank. She waddled and stopped right in front of Duane. She quacked and quacked until he asked, “Are you the same duck I helped last year?” She quacked some more then turned around, waddled and swam away in Kent Pond.

Different duck varieties offer different meanings. Mallards are the world’s most common duck. They thrive in small ponds and safe waterways. Mallards have a friendly social spirit and are comfortable in their natural surroundings. They value commitment and community according to the principles of feng shui. Mallards represent honesty, versatility and adaptability. Mallard Spirit encourages us to explore hidden emotions, heal old wounds, eliminate negative thoughts, and increase inner wisdom.

My husband and I also delight in frequent sightings of Canada Geese who migrate twice a year (like we do). Killington’s a popular summer resort for humans and Canada geese, families. We visit them at the Foundry Pond and Kent Pond.

When Canada geese fly over our house early morning and late afternoon we run outside for photos and “bravos.” (They thrill us so we often applaud them.) Last summer on the Killington soccer field behind the Sherburne Memorial Library I heard a goose disciplinarian honking commands to unruly goslings. He tried to prepare them for takeoff and flight in an orderly manner. After several attempts, he finally succeeded, still honking to achieve a “V” formation. I laughed out loud and cheered them on as they circled above and rehearsed for migration.

Geese impart many messages to us, especially the importance of strong family values, nurturing, bonding and communicating with loved ones. Geese are compassionate, patient and loyal. They are brave, determined and protect young from danger.

As we drive south to Bradenton, Florida in early November and back in May, we watch for geese on highway medians, rivers, in parks and lowlands. “Are you our geese?” we eagerly ask, hoping their journeys are uneventful and safe.

Which creatures show up in your life? You can explore what their messages are on many sites, but here is one I particularly like:

Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Green Mountains of Vermont.

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