Colorful foliage, Goose Winter and Indian Summer often characterize autumns in New England. The term “Indian Summer” is well known, but I was unable to find any information online about the derivation of the expression “Goose Winter”. When I asked, Mother said, “I heard the expression while living on the farm in Northern Maine, but never heard an explanation. Guess everyone assumed everyone knew…” Perhaps the origin is lost in folklore, but Goose Winter wisdom endures.

The recent cold snap on the East Coast swept us from summer’s limp-hair humidity into fall’s bone-raw chill. Within a couple of days, we switched our thermostat from air conditioning to heat. At higher elevations, a wet snow fell, accumulated then quickly melted. Goose Winter is not a harsh predictor of future events, just a gentle precursor of things to come. It’s time to lay in a good supply of food and firewood at Vanaprastha.

How often do I receive Goose Winters messages? Do I pay attention or plug my ears against the sound of the wind? Do I close my eyes to skiffs of snow, hoping to stop the passage of time? I can deny the change of the seasons or live each stage of life as it comes. This is a choice, to live in fear of death or to embrace beauty and hope.

Which do you choose?


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