Gosling Crossing

After yesterday’s trail discussion, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday thinking about how we keep calm when it feels as if the world around us is unraveling. As I pondering this and driving along 66th Street, I noticed that the traffic was stopped a few cars up.  As I got a little closer, I noticed a huge gaggle of geese and goslings leisurely crossing the street, apparently oblivious to the traffic.  It was then that I realized that another piece of remaining hopeful is to RECOGNIZE little kindnesses when they happen.  All the cars stopped, nobody honked impatiently and even when the goslings finally got across the street, no one rushed hurriedly on.  A gentleman standing on the far side of 66th watched the whole time to make sure the little flock was safe.  It was just a small incident but it made me feel a little better.

Have you witnessed any small kindnesses recently?

21 thoughts on “Gosling Crossing”

  1. We have been helping a single mom and her two kids from our church out lately, due to misfortune through no fault of their own. It is very strange that the more we help them, the more we have.

    It makes me angry that there is such a lack of safety nets for the vulnerable. This mom, who has two chronically ill children, got an increase in her child support that made her ineligible for low income housing. We helped with a security deposit and a window air conditioner for their new apartment.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    One of my favorite things about living in the Twin Cities is what I have called, “Good Goose (and Duck) Behavior). People here are loathe to interfere with the gosling crossings and will pause for many minutes waiting for the crossing to finish. In all my years of living here (36 years), only once have I seen someone just melt down and lay on the horn during a gosling crossing. And that lady experienced a lot of social disapproval from everyone else, garnering glares and fingers from the line of traffic. Years ago, on my way to work in Minneapolis, I was going South on 46th Ave when a duck mama did not look and launched herself and her family into the street in front of moving cars. The ducklings went every which way of course. The cars halted and people went into the street on a rescue mission. It was so sweet.

    We have had a very difficult Spring with some significant losses and medical problems in those around us. Lou’s BFF gave him his motorcycle to tend when the BFF died, which was so very kind. Many in the national community in which I am professionally engaged gave a lot of money to the family of a colleague who died of ovarian cancer this spring. And those same people were kind to me as we had to ask for delay after delay in a certification process as my friend’s daughter had a kidney transplant. They were so patient with us.

    People can be kind and as VS is pointing out, we must notice is and be grateful so we do not cave in to cynicism and cruelty ourselves. Thanks VS. If WP would allow me to “Like” this post I would. But WP is not kind to me lately.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Of course, VS is right that we should appreciate small acts of kindness. I’d like to do that. My problem is that I worry about what Renee calls “the social network,” because it sure seems to be badly in need of repair. A lot of people need help that is not always there. When someone in trouble catches the attention of the media, people often respond generously to help that person. Which is heartening, but not how things should be.

    That’s no way to run a healthy, balanced society. The kindness of strangers flows easily to physically attractive victims or victims with compelling stories. Which, to repeat, is good. But I want more. I want more fairness and support and resources to go to those in need. I want salvation stories to be the exception. I yearn for a society in which the laws are more fair in general, where opportunities for redemption are not rare, where people in pain get help. I want goodness and security and health to be built into the foundations of society so they will be more reliably present when needed.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I don’t know if it’s innate or if it’s taught, but some people are just more compassionate and helpful than others. I witness small kindnesses every single day. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by people who help others when they see a need. Not necessarily in big overt gestures, but in small ways that say “I care” in meaningful ways.

    I agree with Renee and Steve that the safety net available to people in this country is too flimsy.


  5. I was going to say that helping others is innately human, as evidenced by how young toddlers, even babies, will show concern and empathy – and then try to help – when they hear another baby in distress. But I have by now seen enough cool animal videos of other creatures helping each other to realize it goes beyond being human.

    I too have wondered what it means when someone is totally unable to experience any empathy. It may be lack of imagination, not being able to understand what a person in distress is feeling or experiencing. Am I correct that one of the hallmarks of some mental illness is being unable to have compassion for others?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think that might be a symptom of some kinds of mental illness. I think being unable to accept the help and kindness of others perhaps is not the most mentally healthy thing either. I think the path of kindness goes in both directions. We need to help others and be able to accept help in return.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There are several diagnoses that have this as a symptom, yes. As ever, with diagnostics, it is the extremity of the symptom and how much it interferes with daily functioning that determines if it qualifies as a clinical diagnosis. All symptoms occur on a continuum.


  6. Hi-
    First, geese. Rochester has the Canada Giant Goose. There used to be thousands of them when the power plant kept Silver Lake open all winter. Course they pooped all over everything too but people made ‘art’ from the poop and all was well.
    But boy, don’t try to drive through Silver Lake Park as the geese walk down the middle of the street and stop traffic on a regular basis.
    But anyone who’s anyone knows if you just keep moving the car, they’ll keep moving out of your way and pretty soon traffic is moving again.
    But the out of towners… they stop. And wait for the geese to move. And the geese stop. Because they’re jerks. And you can sit there all day. Honking and fuming won’t help because the car in front is still waiting for the damn geese to move.

    These days, the power plant has been shut down so the water freezes and the shore has been planted to “native vegetation” to discourage the geese from staying so therefore there’s less poop. And don’t feed them either; bread isn’t good for them and corn dissuades them from moving on. But the city will still speak wistfully about them and use them as symbols. And the handful remaining will still walk down the middle of the road.

    My wife works with a woman who is dealing with more than her fair share of medical issues. Yet this woman will be the first one to send you a card or pizza’s when you’re in the hospital with a sore leg. And she kind of primes everyone else. Other people do nice things because she does nice things.

    There’s nothing like a storm to bring out the helpers in people. I was cutting up a tree blocking the road one day and a neighbor stopped and helped haul the branches off the side.

    But honestly, lately, if I see a ‘MAGA’ sticker on their truck I have to think about it and decide if they really need help or they’re young enough to deal with it themselves… and I know that’s wrong.

    I rescued 6 baby ducklings out here a couple weeks ago. We’d been watching momma duck sitting on the nest. She wasn’t happy I captured them, but they’d never survive on their own outside. I got momma in with them and they’re doing well.
    I’m thinking another week, and by then they’ll be bigger than pigeon sized and have a much greater chance of survival.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So geese are jerks, huh? Most of the geese I know (Fawn Doe Rosa) are pretty easy going, especially while you’re feeing them.


      1. Some geese are aggressive. Sigh, especially males or females protecting a nest or goslings. However, I have known roosters who were really aggressive. Then there are Tom Turkeys, as in our neighborhood, who will get between a person and their car just because Mr. Tom decided that is his territory. This spring Lou found one hanging out under our deck one morning.

        The Tom Turkey who was hanging out in the Eden Prairie City Center entrywaylast fall, admiring his reflection in the door, then getting territorial with his own reflection, spreading his tail and strutting his stuff was especially funny. He reminded me of some human Toms.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep geese are jerks.
        We raised two once because Kelly had geese when she was growing up and thought they were fun. But our geese were just nasty.

        They chewed the plug off the engine heater of my car. They chewed the wire off the electric starter on our grill. They’d chase dogs. They’d chase us in the car or on the four wheeler. They weren’t protecting a nest or anything, they were just self- entitled spoiled brats. It was a male and female pair. And they were just jerks.

        We put an add on Freecycle and gave them away to a man who showed up in a truck and said he didn’t need a cage, he would just put them on the seat.
        We figured for sure we’d find his wrecked vehicle a mile up the road with the geese proudly displaying his beaten body.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I have a friend who is kind to so many people in so many ways, myself included. I can’t go into detail about every single situation because there are just too many.
    Last fall when we experienced a tornado outbreak in LeSueur and Rice counties, she was keeping her eye on a young man in a wheelchair who had been left alone in a house across the street. My friend had been helping the young woman who was responsible for this young man’s care by providing some home-cooked meals for the young woman, her two very young daughters and the young man in the wheelchair. When the storm hit and the sirens were howling, my friend left the shelter of her own house as debris blew in the air, ran across the street and helped the young man get to a safer area in the house. She couldn’t get back across the street until the storm was over and the trees had been knocked down. She ended up having to report the young woman for neglect, for leaving the young man alone in the house. The young man was taken out of that foster home and went home with his grandmother. My friend continued to help the young woman and her two daughters. She bought the girls Sunday dresses, dressed them up and took them to church. She bought them Halloween costumes and gave a neighborhood Halloween party for the kids. She has helped me by taking care of Pippin when I was away from home. She makes everyone either a birthday cake or a pizza-sized chocolate chip “cookie” on their birthday. She nursed the daughter of another friend who was dying of cancer. These are only some small examples of her kindness and the lengths to which she will go to help others.

    I deeply admire her for all the time and energy she puts into helping others. She’s not really a very happy person but I think she tries all the time to put others’ happiness first.

    I would like to reciprocate but she won’t tolerate it. Someday I hope to be there for her the way she has helped me and others.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. There’s been a homeless guy living on the bluff near my home recently. Someone brought it up in an online discussion. There was some sentiment for just calling the police and having him hauled off. But some people advocated for getting him some kind of help instead of just hounding him. One person found out his first name and a little bit of his history. Apparently he has been sober for awhile, and some progress seems to be made toward moving him into a better situation.

    Liked by 1 person

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