Sunday, October 16, 2011

On birds. And brains.

We just pulled into the driveway after a long day of staring at an endlessly unfolding ribbon of asphalt. Since I'm typically the one behind the wheel on days like this, I end up with a lot of time to ponder the meaning of life. In between keeping everything safely between the appropriate lines and not bending any metal in the process - a challenge today, given the pretty intense winds that followed us from start to finish - I got to listen in on the kids' observations of the blurred world outside.

The London-to-Montreal-to-London trip is old hat to them by now, but they still manage to find new ways to paint the experience. Our daughter, for example, provided a running commentary on a very angry-looking, wind-whipped sky. She kept finding shapes in the clouds, and although I couldn't spend a whole lot of time enjoying the view, it was nice to see the experience through her eyes.

Our journey takes us through one of the busiest migratory flyways on the continent. We saw lots of birds flying south, and a few misguided ones heading north (would love to know what's going through their heads) and as I watched them instinctively adapt their vees to accommodate the ever-changing wind, I thought of this quote:
"A bird only flies. It does not turn to another bird and ask 'Am I doing this right?'"
Mary Anne Radmacher
Your turn: What three words come to mind when you see birds in flight?

4 comments:

young-eclectic-encounters said...

lovely thought and metaphor. When I see the geese I think of the story of why they travel in the V shape. It has to due with areodynamics so they do notfly longer without tiring. Also did you know that they switch posittions so no one bird has the haevest wind burden. And if one is injured or leaves the group; two always drop out with the uninjured on easing the way for the one who needs the help. I wish I could tell it better because it is truly remarkable and inspiring.
BTW at one time when I was having trouble with one of my teens a therapist told me to take them on a long car trip in the dark and they will tell you things that they would never tell you otherwise. There is someting about the cacoon of being in the car surrounded by the dark that makes them open up to you.
Johnina

Karen S. said...

Oh your day sounds much like ours, only I was doing the driving! Funny it was a crazy windy day here as well....it was a trip to a Scarecrow-fest and a pumpkin patch search for the perfect pumpkins...and from your cool quote I offer, "If only people drove in such good order as birds fly!"

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

would love to know what's going through their heads

We're gonna beat the crowds, path less traveled, etc.!
~

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Freedom, searching, loneliness... It never fails- I will see a lone bird either leaving the pack or just one lone one laying in wait.