Road Trips, Grief and Patience

Recently I was told that it is necessary to grieve. The thought was that if you don’t grieve, you can not move through the sadness to reach the other side.

Those of you who follow this blog know that my life got turned upside down by a goose. Yes. A webby-footed, long-necked, silly goose that I named Josephine. She had an elegant air about her that demanded an suitable name. She was not to be a Lucy or a Sue or even a Miranda. She needed something more definitive so Josephine it was. (Even though that rapidly deteriorated into JoJoGoose in moments of goosey antics in the tub.)

She waddled into my life two weeks ago yesterday. She waddled out of it yesterday. After two weeks of struggling to figure out how to keep her (geese make great house pets), I realized I needed to allow her to go live with my friends in east Texas. So I enlisted the aid of Romeo who gallantly drove us the two and half hours east where we met Jacqueline who drove two and half hours west. She was elated to make the acquaintance of Miss Josephine Goose. Her partner, Dude, has had a pet duck for seven years.

I won’t go into the details of car travel with a loose goose, but suffice it to say, Jacqueline’s dog pen in the back of her SUV was a MUCH better idea. ๐Ÿ˜ Her Twitter account will remain active, I hope.

From what I got in a text message, Miss Josephine and Mr. Arnold seemed to be muddling along (or is that puddling) very well so far. They had a good dinner and a swim in the pond.

While I was really happy for Josephine, I was sadder for myself than I expected. I spent a few hours at a pool party but left earlier than the others. I was very tired from staying up the night before but getting up early so we could make that trip out and back. Add to that the relinquishing of someone that I loved. I got home where I just fell apart. I mean snotty, sobbing wails like a child who’d lost their teddy bear.

Not a pretty sight.

But I didn’t stop myself from the grief. I just made sure I was in a safe environment (my friends are lovely people, but I am not sure they *get* how deeply I feel about things sometimes) and just let myself go. I accidentally called on trusted friend during this, but she’s a bird person/animal lover so she truly gets me. It’s hard to find people who don’t think you are slightly silly to grieve so hard over an animal that is 1)just a goose and 2)an itinerant being in your life.

I’m fortunate to have friends who do get me. One reminded me that Josephine was here to teach me something. So I thought I’d pull a card to see what that was.

Using the Gaian Tarot, I pulled the Ace of Earth.

This is a lovely, endearing card from Joanna Powell Colbert’s deck. A fawn rests in the shade and sunlight. Its ears are huge. They take in every little sound as the fawn examines its surroundings. In the front of the card, a fern (a fiddler if I remember correctly) is unfurling. This card is soft.

I used to go for long walks in the piney woods of north Louisiana. It is there that I learned that Nature is very real as a sentient being. I talked to trees. I got answers. I studied the path of bugs and birds. I learned how to move quietly through the forest. Throughout my life, I’ve been rewarded time and time again for my patient waiting. I’ve seen a black-footed ferret in the wild (might have been a sable). I’ve been close enough to birds to salt their tails (never had salt handy.) I’ve tracked a hummingbird back to her nest. I’ve learned and grown from that relationship.

This card tells me that Josephine was here to teach me to go back to that stillness. That dedicated quietude which brought me such amazing moments. This is the card of opportunity and growth in community. I believe it is a signpost towards a different type of community for me. I need to seek those who love nature on a deep, abiding level. I need to find those who understand what it is to be quiet and to observe.

Josephine Goose
So while the rescue of Josephine has brought her into and out of my life all too soon, I am grateful for the lessons she brought to me. I know that I am now a champion of doing the right thing for waterfowl. I can’t save all the dumped domestics, but I can educate people on proper food/where to get that. Maybe I can make a difference in more than one goose’s life. It’s small payback for the difference she made in mine.

Who or what has made that kind of difference in your life? Maybe they only touched you for a moment, but that touch lasted for a lifetime.

14 thoughts on “Road Trips, Grief and Patience”

  1. You also could have called me, sugar–I get it, too; that darling goose stole your heart, and length of time makes no difference once someone settles in lock, stock, and feathered nest. {{{{{{{{{{{Arwen}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Funny that we’re both being called to change our paths right now… I’m being called to concentrate more on Pagan and art issues.

    Much love, honey!

    1. I was in no place to call, Cath. I was checking a text from my friend Aileen and hit call by mistake. Didn’t even realize I’d dialed until I heard her voice. Love you.

  2. What a lovely sad and happy story Arwen. Perhaps Josephine was here to also show you what unconditional love is like.

    I love my pets, even when they scratch me and they love me too, especially when I am about to feed them. I put up with their moods and they put up with mine – unconditional love is something we experience with animals that is often so hard to find in a human relationship. Even mothers sometimes don’t love unconditionally but that’s another story.

    Now I want a goose to!

  3. i’ve been blessed with three wonderful dogs – but my most beloved dog was Beau – if he’d been male, he’d a been that perfect man! i had him for 16 amazing years. He was so intelligent, and perceptive. And he loved me as much as I loved him. The month before he died, I found a puppy abandoned up a mountain road. He was so cute, but the local shelter was a kill one after a period of time. He wasn’t very cute. I didn’t believe anyone would want him. but he was so amazing. Best dog, never chewed or did naughty things in the house. He’s 12 now. I always think he came to me because of Beau. Most people get one good dog – i’ve had three (I also have another dog, Petey, a shelter dog, and he, too, is amazing and so good. So I have suffered that loss, Arwen, I get it. hugs, t

    1. Oh Trudy, what a marvelous tale of three dogs. I really love that they did that overlap thing. It’s good for us when they ease us gently into their passing. ๐Ÿ™

  4. Who would have thought a goose could be such a gift? It also takes courage and an open heart to act in the moment and not only do the right thing–but to open your home, your life and make all the adjustments necessary to accept this unique gift. It takes even a bigger heart to say to yourself, “This goose may be happier if…” That’s so hard to do when it’s so easy to think…”I love this goose, I’m keeping it!” So blessings to you, for having the loving, kind and open heart of the blessed soul you are! I’m sorry for your loss and send healing hugs that this goodness will return to you in a very unexpected way.

  5. Arwen –

    I am so glad that you made that call – intentional or not! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope that Ms Josephine continues to post on Twitter – I am one of those that loved talking to her!

    Kudos to Romeo – who kne the right thing to do – and proceeded to do it!


  6. Your story of Josephine was lovely. did I ever tell you that I nearly got named Josephine at birth? It was the name my mother’s doctor favoured. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and I was given a different name (but one I no longer have).

    I entirely “get” the whole animal thing! If you take on a pet or pets, you are utterly responsible for it. Not only for providing food and water, but for its quality of life. Once animals are out of the wild and in our homes or farmyards, they are utterly dependent on our mercies.

    And as to the grief, yeah, I understand that, too. They may have smaller brains than we do, but they are people anyway. They are made of the same star-stuff we are, and have as much soul as we do.

    At different times I have had all the conventional things: dogs, cats, small birds, tropical fish. I have also had less conventional things like guineapigs and chickens. Then I have had really out-there animal companions like blue-tongue lizards, magpies, Indian Mynahs, goats (whom I walked on a leash every day like a dog and who loved out walks), bats and a wombat. They are all people. If you take them on, you need to treat them decently and with affection. And yes, a blue-tongued lizard does love affection, no matter what licenced reptile-handlers will tell you. At least, my three did, especially the oldest one.

    I loved the spirit of the love of Josephine that shone through your writing. Oh, and the floor in the photo, is the same lino I used to have in my kitchen for very many years, so when I looked at the pic I flashed-back to that kitchen with a goose in it!

    1. I think it is a telling thing to note who can connect with all animals and not just the popular/common ones.

      A wombat? Do tell! Thank you for your note, .Nisaba. I can’t believe we still haven’t met. Must rectify that one day.

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