As the Geese Fly: A Contemplation on Life Tempo

Oct 28, 2020
As the Geese Fly: A Contemplation on Life Tempo


My experience with the geese this weekend has inspired me to think about the tempo of life and how resonance with nature is the way forward. 

The geese know exactly when it is time to fly.

I recognize that I too must be in sync with the resonance and tempo of nature. 

This occurrence came about as a result of my growing relationship with the subtlety of nature over time, with our land, the movement of birds, insects, animals, trees, sun, light, shadow, wind and the concert that is created from all of these things.

I can know very much about my tempo and my surroundings without any clock, calendar or means of measuring my “nerves.”

Each cluster of days that I am on the island, there is often a predominant animal and/or plant theme. Many trees had fallen, the temperature had dropped significantly and I was awoken several times by deep cries in the night as a branch came crashing down. I also heard many more Canadian Geese at night which was unusual...or which I had not noticed in previous years (more likely the case).

Suddenly on my last morning in the pre-dawn hours, hundreds of geese filled the skies, trumpeting their departure for over 20 minutes. The duration and magnitude of this migration was something I had never experienced before. I was filled with wonder and awe. I had seen many small groups in previous years, but nothing like this.

I felt a distinct shift marked by this event.

(I may not have seen or heard it if I had not been living in a tent in freezing temperatures.)

I want to study tempo and resonance within myself within the context of lifestyle. Can I understand and recognize when I am swimming in the collective pace of life complete with my false sense of accomplishments? I must study what actually yields results within my Being. Does my lifestyle reflect a cohesive tempo in sync with Nature or is it a compulsion to stay in the fray and belong? 

I have asked this question in the past as I raised three children. Do I need to inundate them with activities in order to give them a better opportunity and a leg up? Can I resist the urge to keep them moving and occupied in order for them to have time to dream, to be bored, or to create as a result of that space? 

Has my complacency and adherence to the myopia of the collective forced me to deprive me and my children of the tempo of nature?

The fear of not being enough and not having enough has turned us into machines in overdrive. We are trying to keep up with email, social media, and the extra added skill sets now introduced by COVID. We are binging on movies and series. The illusion is that we have slowed down, but the tragedy lies in the fact that we use technological interface to connect in classrooms, ensembles, performances, dating and family to name a few things. We fill the space it took to travel from place to place with earlier meetings and more meetings.

Teachers and students alike are inundated with more work. Why is that?

The majority of our day is screentime with little to no actual social interaction. People are suffering from COVID safety measure fatigue. Depression and suicide are through the roof.

My point is that all of this takes us away from a natural resonance of life that allows us to notice, to exchange energy, and to connect. It was bad enough before the pandemic, but now we must make concerted efforts to not completely isolate ourselves, and then inundate ourselves with screens.

We will go crazy.

I have had the privilege of staying out in nature, living outside for days on end every week. My blood slows down. My mind and body entrain to a much slower tempo and it reminds me that I do not have to keep up with the pace out there. I can experience this stark contrast, and deeply know which is feeding me. It may take a day but I am now able to resume a quiescence that overtakes me in which I can listen to the atmosphere.

I can see subtle differences in the light as the seasons pass that I could not see before. I know the movement of those seasons through the insect world, through surroundings with 112 species of birds, through the smell of the land, through watching the rise and fall of the water levels, and so much more.

I return to the same places over and over to watch the character and “life vibrance.”

In essence, I feel myself settle back into the tempo of Nature which feels so wholeheartedly healing.

The alternative is to try and keep up an impossible pace that is killing us. We are on amphetamines to pay attention, antidepressants to cope, sleeping aids to shut us down, and what is seeping out of the woodwork is frustration, anger, and hate.

We are hard pressed to tolerate difference of opinion or alternative viewpoints. We define ourselves through the information we feed ourselves and that unfortunately is being chosen for us the more we are subject to screens, advertising and media “suggestions.”

I cannot help but entrain to the tempo of technological life and so I must consciously remove myself from it. I must immerse myself in something that offers my Being the food it requires to expand. In my willingness to be still, to resist the false sense of belonging and “business progress” of social media, to notice my surroundings, to hold three centered awareness, and to immerse myself in Nature, I am able to hold a different resonance.

When I enter higher states of consciousness, I strengthen my ability to be unwavering in Being. I feel the capacity to hold up under the immense suffering we are experiencing as a collective. I am able to know that I do not have to live in fear of anything, even if it might kill me.

With the faster tempo comes the difficulty of holding a different resonance. It is as if I am pushing against a stronger current than before, but my spiritual station holds me steady. 

We are collectively caving into fear and anxiety. I see and hear of many children and young adults who are unable to cope. The pressure is astoundingly high at the moment.

In all the groups our school is running, it is evident that we are searching for the sanity that comes from inner stillness and strength of Being. What we can bear determines that level of Being. We are learning to resist the unnatural tempo within ourselves.

We begin to entrain to a different resonance that strengthens us to hold a more natural life tempo. 

If I can hold a different tempo, that resonance ripples through my groups, my family, my partner, and myself.

The geese have flown, the skies are quiet and so it is time to actually slow down.


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