Um Nollaig – Sauce for the goose…

On Christmas morning a ‘skein’ of Brent geese flew over the garden. I thought that it was a ‘gaggle’ of geese but no, the brother tells me that a ‘gaggle’ is for geese on the ground and a skein is for when they’re flying in a ‘V’ formation.

He also told me that when they arrive from the High Arctic, they settle on the coast and eat all the eel grass. When that’s all gone, they head inland to any park or football field they can find and they begin to graze on that. They must’ve been heading for Éamonn Ceannt Park in Kimmage, I thought, a nice patch of succulent, green… eh, common or garden grass.

But when I see them, I always think of possibilities. Every year, when it gets too cold in Canada, they pack up and head for Ireland. They don’t remain stuck in a bad situation, they rise up and take positive action. A good metaphor, don’t you think?

a Christmas crib made from cardboard at Mount Argus, Dublin
The cardboard crib at Mount Argus, Dublin

Another idea would be Rotha Mór a’ tSaoil – ie – the wheels of life keep turning, the geese arrive, the year ends, a new year begins and so on…

Ach chuir sé mé ag smaoineamh ar thaistealaithe eile ag an am seo, ar na milliúnta teifigh agus ar lucht iarrtha tearmainn ag teastail faoi uamhan agus faoi eagla ar fud na cruinne. Agus bhí mé ag smaoineamh ar theaghlach áirithe, ar ndóigh – seanfhear le asal ar adhastar aige agus óigbhean le leanbh nua ag a h-ocht, í ag marcaíocht ar an asal – iad ag éalú amach as Beithil i gcoim na h-oíche, ag teitheadh lena n-anam go dtí an Éigipt…

Daoine gan dídean, gan cothú, gan cairde, gan compord, gan slandáil, gan só… Dia idir sinn agus uair na tubaiste!

So I have two videos from the internet for you today, as we’re still in the Christmas season here. The one above is a skein of geese (though not the one from my back garden) and the one below is a beautiful Irish tune on the harp entitled Na Géanna Fiáine (the wild geese)

Beir Beannacht agus Bua,





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