DescriptionNature is sometimes kind
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Across the road there is a set of railroad tracks. Beyond lay vast fields of farmland that rest next to a river that flows from the mountains that dominate the eastern horizon. Along the river runs a trail that ends just under the train trestle that cross's overhead. Most every morning I could be found standing on a large rock looking out over this expanse taking in the cool soft breeze that comes across the field. Many times I was there to see the first piercing rays of sunlight pour over the mountain peaks and reflect off the surface of the water turning it into a river of light. On overcast days there could be seen hundreds of geese cutting through the sky. As they flew off in the distance a ray of light might peek through the clouds and shine upon the V- formation giving them the appearance of a long silver rope twisting into the eastern sky. I can't remember a time when I wasn't richly rewarded by the experience. One such morning as I surveyed the field a family of geese emerged from a row of bushes on parade toward the riverbank. Momma appeared to be heading up the charge with five little ones rowed up behind her, and daddy bringing up the rear. The course ruts of the field did seem to hinder them as they boldly crossed in single file. The area of their destination was hidden behind a grove of cottonwoods that banked the river. I didn't know if momma knew it or not but access to the river at that point was not going to be a gradual break from turf to surf. I had been there many times and knew that the bank had been washed away and what remained was an abrupt edge with a ten foot plunge into turbulent waters. With head held high momma led the family into the trees with daddy close behind while I stood in suspense on my rock wondering what would come of all this. For what seemed like forever I stood shifting my eyes from the river to the woods wondering where they would come out. I was almost certain they would not come out of the woods, but I also feared what might happen to those goslings when they dropped into the swirling water. To my great joy I saw a few of them shoot out into the more even current, but I couldn't see the rest of them. I was just about to jump off my rock to get a better view when the other two young ones came into sight with momma and daddy close by. They had all made it and were headed for a small island that had formed around the center support of the train trestle. Safely on shore they all shook the river water off their feathers and strutted around at ease. Mom and dad looked over at me, and I felt as though they could sense the joy and excitement I had from seeing they were all safe and victorious. From this point the family could ease back into the river in kinder waters and the goslings could begin their new semi-aquatic lives. Later that summer I saw what appeared to be that same family lounging along the opposite shore of the river and I was glad to see they were doing well. The goslings were much larger by then, and I remembered the joy I had felt that day in the late fall when they were baptized in the river.