Thursday, October 22, 2009

Flocking Together

Earlier this week while on a hike on a country road, I was stopped in my tracks when hundreds of blackbirds flew overhead. I was mesmerized, not only by the number, but by what appeared to be the joint intention of enjoying their play.

I watched a pattern emerge with a few birds in a leadership role, lead the flock from tree to tree. In spite of the large number, they all fit, side by side on the branches of trees where all the leaves had fallen. After a minute, the leaders would swoop up again and lead the flock across the road to another bare tree.

As I stood there and watched, I thought how lovely it was that so many birds could cooperate in this game, without any apparent egos, manipulations or behind the back pecking. There was no distinction between shades of feather color or family histories. Although obviously individual birds, the appearance and feel that they gave was that of oneness. With that oneness was also a natural enjoyment of play in the moment.

After a five minute break for my flocking lesson, I went on my way thinking of what life would be like for us wingless humans that go to work, drive cars, walk on the streets, shop, dine, recreate and go to school. How different it would be if we could take turns taking the lead, flying through life with freedom, joy and without fear of being shot down.

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