One Time When Being Part of the Crowd Was Good

I really like seeing something, in an otherwise ordinary day, that really flips the switch for me.  Most of the time, it’s something in the natural world.  Like today.  At this time of the year where I live, great undulating clouds of starlings and blackbirds pass through on their way south.  I was driving down a road with fields on both sides and I saw a mass of blackbirds settled on the asphalt like a dark mirage.

Birds rose and fell, skittering and tossing themselves about.  But the ones on the road were in no particular hurry to move rapidly.  Why get out of the way when you number in the hundreds, flowing across the road like a feathered river?  I could see their rationale.  One bird, jump quickly.  Two-hundred birds, meh, take your time.

So I slowed to a crawl, inching my way through the winged sea.  And then I was in a snow globe of swirling birds – above, around me – now part of the flock.  So this is what it feels like!  The susurration of flapping wings, the ebb and flow of rising and settling, the animated conversations surrounding me.

Many times I’ve stood under these tumultuous winged migrations – the roar of their calls, the smell of them, the rush of wind against my face from their wings.  But to be a part of the flock!  A moment of grace.


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