I am 52 years old, and have spent
truly the better part
of my life out-of-doors
but yesterday I heard a new sound above my head a rustling, ruffling quietness in the spring air
and when I turned my face upward
I saw a flock of blackbirds
rounding a curve I didn’t know was there and the sound was simply all those wings, all those feathers against air, against gravity and such a beautiful winning:
the whole flock taking a long, wide turn as if of one body and one mind.
How do they do that?
If we lived only in human society
what a puny existence that would be
but instead we live and move and have our being
here, in this curving and soaring world
that is not our own
so when mercy and tenderness triumph in our lives
and when, even more rarely, we unite and move together toward a common good,
we can think to ourselves:
ah yes, this is how it’s meant to be.