I have been reading Jonathan Weisner's beautiful book, The Beak of the Finch, listening to sandhill cranes' rusty calls as they fly overhead, and watching starling murmurations. Questions flutter and peck at my mind. What would it be like to live so authentically, so true to my inherent identity, as a bird lives its own instinctual and evolving life? As Gerard Manley Hopkins writes, what if I could truly say "What I do is me: for that I came" and that like the bird "Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is" I would be so free and unworried and simple?
Does it cross a bird’s mind, while it drifts on the whimsy of thermal lift and updraft, that this—flying—is simply astounding?
Does a bird smile pleasure at the miraculous wings?
Does a bird think what grace its own true being is, the gift of its birdness?
Does the bird brain say thanks?
Look at the geese, the sandhilll cranes, hawks, swallows—
do they try to hold on to the air?
Then why do I grasp and cling at the stuff of my sky,
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6441