In our lives, we all experience seemingly ordinary moments that take on deeper meaning. They cause us to pause and reflect, and grace our lives with brief flashes of insight and wonder. Small Wonders: Stories of Love, Loss and Letting Go is a collection of these moments from noted theologian and writer Anne Thurston. Arising from contributions written for the ‘Living Word’ series on RTÉ Radio 1, they reflect life’s patterns of chaos and calm, and invite the reader to find solace and meaning in the muddle and mystery of daily living.
Seeing the Geese
It was December – one of those bright crisp days. We were doing that annual duty of Christmas shopping. I remember that I had bags in both hands, because I wanted to point to the sky and I had to put them down.
We were on our way home, exhausted, as you are when you’ve made the twenty-sixth purchase of hat or gloves or book or CD or tasteful bauble or bangle that you think your third cousin twice removed would really like for Christmas.
We were heading for home.
None of this really matters because it was then I heard them first. I looked up, and flying above the city streets were hundreds of geese. They were probably on their way from one feeding ground to another – it was lunchtime after all. I called out in surprise and delight. We stood still almost in the middle of the road, oblivious now to everything but the geese brushing dark wings against the blue sky. We watched as flock after flock passed by in their distinctive V formation with that characteristic cry, which now we could make out clearly, even above the noise of the traffic. Like a street evangelist I wanted to tell everyone the good news of what I had seen, but all around me heads remained lowered and people rushed on, unaware of the wonder above them.
Exhaustion forgotten, we boarded the tram.
Now, one year later, I cannot remember one single thing we bought that day. But I remember the geese. I remember the joy, the utterly unexpected joy of seeing them there high above the streets, stringing out across the winter-pale sky.
Small Wonders is available from www.veritas.ie and in all Veritas stores.