15 Aug 2018 – Howard’s Blog – Derek the Goose

 At Watchet harbour the Navigators of Faith team went their various ways… Skipper Ed motored back across the Bristol estuary to Cardiff in the William Cantrell Ashley lifeboat, Caz and I travelled by car back home and Andy remains with Rival Star at Poole Harbour.

 On arriving home I fell into a deep sleep.

I have many questions that I will ponder and many ideas to process but for the meantime I will rest and reconnect with life.

 As we left Watchet our last farewell was to Derek, the harbour goose. He (she actually) is a pet goose that is looked after by the pontoon berth holders who give ‘him’ food and even have a ‘Derek fund’ up at the harbour café. ‘He’ is looked after by Marilyn and Ken on the nearby motorboat and his only task in life is to protect his ever present food basket from the passing ducks. However, Derek is far removed from the Celtic notion of a wild goose (the symbol of Celtic Christianity). He is far too tame. He does not travel.

 Geese were once common in Ireland, and their migration was duly noted by the ever-observant Celts. The Goose speaks of human migratory or transitory behaviour and is also a strong symbol of hearth and home. They fly in formation with a lead goose cutting the air before allowing another to take the lead. As strong patriots who avoided hierarchy, the Celts saw the sign of the goose as a strong symbol of the importance of home to which the traveller returns.

 I have returned.