When Geese Came Back: Spring's Arrival Handbook

The day of the first spring rain was marked with a third cup of “no cream no sugar” Americano, and strong wind, that made me close my wool camel coat tighter.

The same day, opening the window in my home office to let the fresh rainy air in, I noticed that snow on our backyard was lowering down. The air that flew into the open window was chilly and made me put on a warm sweater, but it was as fresh and natural as only April’s air can be. Spring finally arrived. It started blooming on my floral dresses. It was waking me up earlier, and sending me for long walks in the afternoon. It was bringing up memories and creating new ones. What can I say; spring was so committed to its work; energizing, and always full of contrasts. However, the way I was marking the arrival of the blooming season, would fall at the same time I would see Canadian geese for the first time again after a long winter.


That day, when I finally didn’t have to start my car half an hour before I would leave my house, was also the day I didn’t put on gloves while walking a ten-meter distance throughout the parking. The air was no longer heavy. It was crispy and sweet, as only melting snow can smell. The same day, I decided that summer dresses needed to be taken out from the top shelf.

The same day I realized that my voluntary imprisonment under the blanket with a book had to end. On the contrary, long walks would have to appear again in my schedule. Being a person of words and actions, I completed the exciting new task in my organizer, right away. I put on a dress. One of whose that was taken from the top shelf. I tightened the belt and threw a wool coat over it. I put on gloves, sunglasses, and a scarf. I jumped into tall boots and opened the door. Trying to remember at least one poem about spring that I used to memorize and declaim in school, I took the first few steps, getting the strongest vibe of déjà vu, as if I already knew it all; air, puddles, high blue sky, the sweet air, and brooks of running water. I was meeting spring as an old friend, after a long time of separation. I could finally breathe deep, filling my lungs with a completely new breeze.


I didn’t hesitate when the walking path took its way towards a little pond in our neighbourhood. I was carefully listening to the sounds of the awakening earth; squeaking, trembling, high and low pitch sounds. I was observing changes that happened in the last few days, checking if tree’s buds started opening, and tuned in with bird’s singing. Birds were loud. As loud as they could only be when cold was no longer an obstacle. The sunshine was soaking through my skin. As the sleepy and quiet soil was awakening, absorbing the sunlight, my body and soul were also opening for something new, delicate and exciting. For something that will fulfill again with energy and inspiration: for soil to produce flowers, and for me to create and rejoice.


I turned, and as soon as the pond opened to my glance, I stopped. The pond remained silent under a thin ice surface. No movements were distracting the air. It seemed that winter could not calm down, knowing that battle with spring was already lost. Winter kept holding pond in its cold freezing arms. Nothing alive can keep up with this cold, I sighed. My bouncing mood almost reached its lowest level, as I could not believe winter will ever give up. I turned to go back home, and then of all the sudden few shadows slowly landed on the pond.

My feet sunk into the ground, and I couldn’t move. They were back. Five, maybe six Canadian geese were strolling on a block of thin melting ice that was still covering the pond in the middle. They were loud as well. Messengers from the South were squawking, drinking cold water, as they got closer to the edge of the pond that had an open source. Two of them took off and flew away. I eyed them with a look of admiration. My special sign of spring was finally here.


I closed my coat, trying to hold on to my dress, which the wind was playing with, and nodded, “Well, welcome back”, were my words.

Geese grunted again. I was more than confident – they are glad to be back, as much as I was glad to see them back. I started walking back home, thinking, trying to find the reason how those birds became such a proof of the arrival of the new season. I could connect it to fairy tales in which geese take a human, who turned into a miniature, with them to the south. I could connect it to my adoration of watching nature signs. I could connect it to just a simple explanation of birds coming back, carrying spring on their wings. Pick the one you like the best, I just know that as much as it is hard for me to tell them “Goodbye” in fall, as much joy it brings into my heart when I see Canadian geese for the first time in the new year again.