A wonderous sight

Pictured are some of the thousands of snow geese that circled over Livingston Tuesday morning, Nov. 29.
Yellowstone Newspapers photo by Hunter D’Antuono

By DWIGHT HARRIMAN

Every once in a while in our humdrum existence, a moment of wonder overtakes us.
Such was the case early Tuesday morning as all over Livingston residents hustled to get to work or perform their daily errands. First we heard the sound — a cacophony of strange honking filling the air, swelling and roiling from one end of town to another. Then we looked up and saw it — a wondrous apparition of thousands of snow geese wheeling in the firmament above us, weaving in and out of each other, forming migrational V’s that broke apart and formed again as the majestic birds circled in the winter skies.
It turns out that the geese, an ornithologist explained, were migrating from the Arctic to the coast of California. They had become confused during the night by a snowstorm and the lights of the city, and were trying to get oriented to resume their migration.
That was the scientific explanation. But these moments, as many such moments in Montana — the sun rising over the Absarokas, a chance encounter with a herd of hundreds of elk, watching a bald eagle snag a fish from the Yellowstone, seeing lightning shatter the skies over a mountain peak — offer a hint of something beyond the scientific, that cold world of atoms and molecules and equations, to a universe designed with beauty and purpose and meaning.
And some days, as we face the everyday challenges of our existence, we need that hint. The sheer joy of seeing thousands of snow geese wheeling over Livingston on Tuesday morning provided just that.

Dwight Harriman is the editor of the Livingston Enterprise.

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