Wild geese

Daily Reading for November 21

The wild goose is a Celtic symbol of God’s Spirit. Hundreds of migrating wild geese alight on Holy Island each year. They include Canadian Brent and Pink-footed geese. A BBC TV programme entitled Hidden Forces stated: ‘We’ve only just begun to unravel some of the magnetic senses which guide the geese across the world.’ Some geese return to a place after over thirty years of absence.

On Easter Day 1996 I lingered, with some sadness, outside my house with two friends. The church community which had been my family for many years had just said farewell to me. Now I faced a day of packing before moving to the unknown quantity of Lindisfarne. There was a great cry overhead. It was a wild goose. I had neither seen nor heard a wild goose in all my years in that place. The Holy Spirit was saying, ‘I am going ahead of you to Lindisfarne.’

Great Spirit, Wild Goose of the Almighty
Be my eye in the dark places
Be my flight in the trapped places
Be my host in the wild places
Be my formation in the lost places
Be my brood in the barren places.

From “Midday reflection at Cuddies Beach” in A Holy Island Prayer Book: Morning, Midday, and Evening Prayer by Ray Simpson. Copyright © 2002. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. www.morehousepublishing.com

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