Monday, December 12, 2011

Sidetracked

What goes through the minds of those little winter birds that fly in close-knit flocks?  About thirty of them dip and glide in one motion; their wings start and stop together, swirling around and around with what I am assuming the changes in wind currents, landing on one of the trees in the line of trees in my neighbor’s backyard.  They roost for a moment, making a noise that causes me to stop what I am doing and look out the window at their racket.  They stop long enough only to take off again, circling; some break off in smaller groups and make their own formation that echoes the original, larger one.  They always land in that one tree, over and over.

Why that tree?  Is this activity for fun, for practice, for defense or community?  Is it a mating ritual, a clubbing scenario – a meet market?  Maybe some of them are making plans to hook up later.

They are mysterious, these little birds.  At once, I’m not interested in motives.  They’ve got my full attention.  They fascinate me as I sit at my desk and watch them swoop around outside my window.  They distracted me from my chores, and I am happy to be their audience, if only for a few minutes.  Their graceful freedom is desirable as I return to emails, the boxes on a calendar, newly dried clothes that should be folded.

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