“The Geese Bath”: Flight of the Wild Goose

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“It is said that during autumn nights, a wild goose will cross the seas from far up north with a branch on its beak. During that long journey, with no islands to rest its wings on, it drops the branch on the sea and stands on it to get rid of fatigue in order to keep flying again. Once it reaches the shore, it drops the unneeded branch, and keeps flying south. Once springs comes, it goes back to the shore, picks up it’s branch, and goes back to the north countries.

…For you, who’s about to fly into a greater world.
…it’s important to rest your wings sometimes just like “The Geese Bath” Rakugo piece.” ~ Iryu Sousa, Ep. 6

I came across the story of “The Geese Bath” while watching Iryu Sousa. It’s said to be a rakugo piece that tells a tale of a wild goose’s journey south in search of a warm place to wait out the passing of long and harsh winter months.

Geese flying in V formation has always been awe-inspiring for several reasons. It’s even one of the popular analogies used in different leadership courses as a prime example of synergy. But it’s the first time I heard of “The Geese Bath”. I don’t know if a wild goose would really carry a branch during its entire flight, drop it on the water, and perch on it whenever it gets too tired to fly. But it doesn’t seem far fetch given the wisdom of geese.

There are things that can take their toll on even the most enduring and persevering souls. It won’t hurt to hold on to something that can be used to stand on when running (or flying) close to empty. Because recharging is a must especially when venturing out to a better place somewhere beyond a vast and unfamiliar ocean.

The wild goose had it all figured out. It reached the south tired, but alive to enjoy the warmth. Because it flew out determined to reach its journey’s end.

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