Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Reflections

Flying Goose Wisdom

Recently, during a cycling event, I had the pleasure of seeing geese flying in formation - obviously headed for a different climate. There must have been hundreds of them and they were magnificent! That, needless to say got me thinking and I thought I'd do some reading on the subject. I've added some basic truths that correlate with the facts I've uncovered - in cycling and in life.
  1. In the Spring, when you see geese heading North for the Summer or South in the Fall, flying along in "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. In cycling, we travel close together inline at sometimes a high rate of speed. We have to know the quirks and habits of those around us - which make us better cyclists and the experience more enjoyable.

    Basic Truth #1- People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

  2. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. It's the same in cycling, called draft.

    Basic Truth #2- If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same direction as we are.

  3. When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. Again, the exact same in cycling, and another cyclist will always make a place for you to get back in line.

    Basic Truth #3- It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.

  4. These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

    Basic Truth #4- We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.

  5. Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group.

    Final Truth- If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.
We have much to learn from one another and much to gain by helping each other. God's creation of us, like these wonderful birds of flight, as part of His constant circle of eternal wisdom.

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