Mother Nature Shows up When We Least Expect Her and She Can Change Our Life in a Heartbeat

June 3, 2016

It was just another morning bike ride – or so I thought. As I pedaled along on the near-deserted boardwalk on the Jersey City side of the Hudson River (unlike the crowded and frenetic path across the river), something caught my eye up ahead. It was tiny, it was fluffy, it was waddling. It was a baby gosling. And it was all alone.

Mother Nature Shows up When We Least Expect Her and She Can Change Our Life in a Heartbeat

Last spring I only remember seeing one or two families of geese, but this year I’d seen several. And the offspring with them were all different sizes. Babies, toddlers, pre-teens and teenagers. This was definitely a baby/toddler.

She (I’m just guessing) was walking down the boardwalk making a tiny heart-wrenching sound and every now and then would stand precariously on the edge of the boardwalk, looking down at the water below. I held my breath.

By now, I was off my bike and carefully following behind her. It was one of the first really hot days we’ve had and every now and then she would stop and go underneath the bike or in my shadow seeking shade.

Her family was nowhere in sight. This surprised me because I know how protective geese are of their young. I not only didn’t see a family with goslings her size, I didn’t see any of the families I knew were around.

Still, she ventured further down the boardwalk.

What should I do? Where were all of my animal-rescuing friends when I needed them? Should I call for help? Should I pick her up and put her in my basket?

I wondered about getting my human scent on her. Would her family reject her if I found them? Really, as much of a Nature-lover as I am, how could I not know this?

So, I carefully walked my bike behind her as she carried on her search for her mother. A couple of curious people stopped but none seemed interested enough to stick around.

There was no way in hell I was leaving this little gosling unattended.

Then a young mother with a stroller (of course it was a mother!) stopped and commiserated with me. What should we do? Eventually, she also left me alone with my new charge.

By now an hour must have passed and all of a sudden I saw the woman with the stroller hurrying back down the boardwalk. She’d spotted a family of geese by a parking lot near an apartment building.

I turned around and my little friend also turned around and started to follow my pink bike (which was a Mother’s Day present at least twenty years ago!) I could tell she was exhausted and hot – she kept looking for shade – but we finally made it to the spot where the family was.

As we were debating whether or not it was wise to pick up the gosling, another woman with a stroller appeared and she didn’t hesitate – she scooped her up and plunked her down with the family who was drinking water from a water dish that someone had set outside the apartment building.

The mother and father looked surprisingly nonplussed. They didn’t even ruffle their feathers at us.

So, on I went. I was too drained now for a bike ride so I headed home. I was hyper-aware of my heart. It felt like it was going to bust out of my chest. My mind went to the Grinch and how his heart “grew three sizes that day.”

I walked into my apartment building and ran into a beloved neighbor who held space with me while I burst into tears, telling her my story through my sobs.

She hugged me. She got it.

Never underestimate the power of Mother Nature. To heal our heart, our body, our mind, our very soul.

The next day I headed down to the river on my bike again. When I turned onto the boardwalk, I saw a goose feather lying there. I stopped my bike to pick it up and continued on my way. But fifty feet further, there was another feather, and then another, and another, and another.

It was as if I was Gretel, following breadcrumbs.

There were adult feathers, young feathers, fluffy ones, and slick ones. I filled my basket and continued on my ride. When I rounded the corner by a marina, I stopped to call my fellow Earth Keeper, Robin to tell her what had happened. As I was talking, I looked at the rocky riverbank right in front of me and saw that dozens of geese were resting there! There were mothers and fathers and babies who were nestled in the rocks.

One goose seemed to be staring at me for the longest time. I wondered to myself if it could be the mother.

I was told many years ago that we should never be dismissive when an animal crosses our path, especially a wild animal. That there’s always a message.

Here’s what Steven Farmer has to say about the Goose in his book “Animal Spirit Guides

  • This is a time of good fortune, so be receptive to and appreciative of all the good things that come to you.
  • Call on your ancestors for their guidance and protection, and once you do so, you’ll notice a significant increase in your spiritual awareness.
  • Reread some of your favorite fairy tales and legends as see what new meanings you can get from them now as an adult. (Ha! Hansel and Gretel!)
  • Write creative and imaginative stories, either about actual experiences you’ve had or those that are made up.
  • Even though it may not always appear to be so you’re very well protected.
  • Lose your inhibitions and sing or chant as loudly as you can. 🙂
  • Call on Goose when you’re planning a spiritual pilgrimage to any sacred land or area (I’m leaving shortly to do this in Ireland/Scotland!)

And on and on. Pretty cool, huh?

This was just one more instance of Mother Nature showing up for me in a big way. Some day I’ll tell you about my pigeon-healing dream. I’ve never looked at these city birds the same since.

Or the seagull that swooped back and forth outside my NYC apartment one morning before landing on the lamppost outside my window and staring at me for the longest time.

Or the coywolf whose eyes I felt (and then saw!) burning into me from about ten feet away as I walked by my son’s apartment complex in North Carolina.

I could write a book about these experiences. Hey, maybe I will. 🙂

Pay attention. Mother Nature is there to change your life, too.

Much love,


  1. Amazing story demonstrating what a great Earth Keeper you are and how much nature trusts you as you trust it.

  2. Thank you for your wonderful stories, I actually feel I’m there along side you on my bike, love all the experiences with nature on the streets in NY yes you never know when Mother Nature shows up??? hope you have a fabulous time in Ireland! And get some great stories?

  3. That’s a beautiful story showing a true, deep connection to all of Earth’s living beings, we are all one. Thank you for sharing it with us Barbara. <3 I can't wait to see some pictures of your spiritual pilgrimage. <3

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