There are now at least five families of geese in the ponds near my home. We give them a wide berth, but they are endlessly watchable.
The geese protected their eggs together. They are raising their goslings together. Most of the time their attention is focused on their goslings or on the world around their family – they keep the humans and dogs and predators from getting too close. They model how to get across the pond, or peck in the dirt for bugs. But from time to time they look at each other across the heads of their little chartreuse broods.
Yesterday, watching the grownup geese look at each other, I thought, “I know that look.” I’ve felt that way, that funny mix of surprise and relief and wonder and we’re-doing-this-even-if-we-don’t-always-know-what-we’re-doing and we-are-doing-this-together.
When I look at my own husband that way over the heads of my own little brood of children and dogs, I feel grateful for him and all that he does for our family. I remember not to take him for granted.
Here we are, the geese seem to be saying to each other. We are here. And I try to communicate it to my partner, too: here we are, I think towards him, in moments of silent thanks. We are here.