Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bird Flapped Its Wings

Lucy (the goose) seems lonely today. During the 4+ hours Frances and I tended fire to cremate Ander's body Lucy honked at us loudly and repeatedly whenever we moved out of sight.

This new goose behavior began yesterday after Frances returned home with Ander's dead body. Ander used to honk at Lucy whenever she wandered too far away. Now Lucy does the same with us. You have to admit, it must be difficult to adjust to life as a single goose after spending every moment of every day (and evening) for close to 20 years with a partner by your side.

Lucy was always the quiet, retiring goose but that's no longer the case. As soon as I walked outside this morning Lucy honked at me from inside her little barn. And ... she'd only just begun.

Frances and I shared memories of Ander while we collected sticks and sat fireside. He was one heck of a macho, pushy, ungrateful goose. Still, Frances made a commitment to him, Lucy, and Frizzy the day she found them at the auction. She promised to care for and protect them and she began the very first night when she brought them home and stashed them in her shower (a temporary solution until she figured out how to house them safely).

Frances recalled Ander's years of fathering his own goslings as well as fostering a dozen baby wild turkeys. He knew exactly how to nip at little behinds to encourage the offending straggler to catch up to the group. And, if Ander hadn't acted quickly and honked loudly last summer, Lucy wouldn't be alive today (a coyote would have eaten her for lunch).

As we burned Ander's body I stood next to the fire and performed Rocking Motion and Bird Flaps Its Wings. I felt as if these two movements paid honor to the wild winged creature with whom we'd shared our lives. And I hoped that these T'ai Chi Chih movements would bless him on his travels to some unknown Great Beyond.

Tonight's T'ai Chi Chih class was joined by a new student who previously studied T'ai Chi Ch'uan. She quickly caught on to the movements, though, and we had a wonderful small group practice circle that circulated the Chi and calmed the minds and hearts of each of us.

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