Having a "Goose" moment

Back in my educational consultancy days I would be called on to co present with my colleague and good friend Annabelle. We had a very symbiotic partnership which mostly worked well. We produced a book together stemming from our passion to help kids learn to read and spell.

It morphed out of a rather unconventional program we had devised which we ran in all of the primary schools and a high school that we serviced. It involved training lay people to follow a structured program. It seemed to work well so we decided to write up the program and self publish it to make it accessible to others. We pooled resources and our first publication “Spelling is Not a Health Hazard” was born. We couldn’t afford an illustrator so I volunteered to try my hand at some very crude illustrations.


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We were thrilled when we sold enough books to cover our costs and even more thrilled when a publishing company approached us and said that they wanted to publish our book. I had to write an extra twenty five pages and they provided a fabulous illustrator and produced a book that made our attempt look amateurish. I have had other educational books published but this one has been the most successful. The success of this venture gave us a platform to run workshops and take on speaking engagements. Some of these were more successful than others.

One Saturday morning we ran a workshop for twenty five people and we prepared in our usual style. Annabelle ran a pretty tight schedule so we would know exactly which one of us was in charge of each segment. Mostly this worked really well although poor Annabelle had moments of panic that her partner would step out of her script or do something outrageous!

This morning began as usual. We were all set up – our ‘props’ all organised and in place, handouts on seats, morning tea ready to be consumed – but at the starting time there was not a soul to be seen. We had our backs to the door when we sensed a presence. Maybe our first customer was slipping quietly in,but there was nobody to be seen. There was more movement and a white head appeared, our first customer but not of the humankind. Our first customer was actually a goose of the feathered variety. It eyed us suspiciously and gave us a disdainful “honk” before disappearing out of the door. For some reason it set us off into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Our laughter turned to dismay when we saw cars pulling into the car park and as people attempted to emerge from their cars, our goose would shoo them back in again, making angry hissing noises and making no bones about what it meant to do with its beak.

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Eventually we were able to convince the goose that there were better things it could be doing with its time and off it went.  Later we had to wonder if our goose in its attempt to stop people coming in, knew something that we didn’t. For some reason a workshop that we could run with our eyes shut became a less than perfect production. Lyn was really off her game and would lose track in the middle of a thought and would pass over to Annabelle who began to feel quite peeved.

From that day on when my talks or workshops don’t go to plan, I label it a “Goose Moment”. Luckily there are not too many, but they do happen. Sometimes there doesn’t even seem to be a reason and no amount of analysis can totally appease the chagrin I feel.

Well, I had a bit of a “Goose Day” yesterday and it threw me into the old questions of: “Why am I doing this?” “Who do I think I am to be putting myself out there?” “Why can’t I just settle back and read a book with my feet up?” Then I remember the little girl of six who made a pledge, in the midst of her trauma, that she was going help to make the world a happy place. For years she was stuck in a dark place and when the fog cleared the path lay open for her to fulfil her purpose.

I feel passionately that this is now my “job” and despite the “goose moments”,  today I will dust myself off and continue to show up for my “job” until I feel released from the contract I made with the universe.

I’m keen to know if you too experience “Goose Moments”?


Image:  Bertuz