Every morning as I take the kids to school I see all the birds lining up in the sky and taking off to their homes in the north. Hundreds and hundreds of migratory birds that all head northward in perfect “V” formation. I feel so sad to say good-bye to them, they were so happy here playing, eating, enjoying the great weather. I also want to tell them how lucky they are, to be able to spend every winter jumping around in the sun while their human counterparts are trembling to death in the snow in northern Europe!
I think how perfect their natural instinct is, that just tells them so naturally and wordlessly when exactly is the right moment for them to line up and return home. How do they know it will soon be spring? And how do they know how to line up so perfectly? How does each bird recognize where is its precise place in the “V” formation, and none of the birds loses the rhythm as they fly?
They have such a long ways to go now. I estimate maybe by the end of March they will be digging up worms in the parks of Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London, and enjoying the first green buds over there. They have to cross the entire Iberian peninsula from south to north, then wing out over the whole European continent before they reach their homes. They travel all that distance using the power of their own wings, no airplanes, trains or cars for them!
And I also think how we’ve lost touch with our own natural nature. The natural thing to do is to head south in the wintertime, where food continues to be plentiful and you can go to bed without waking up transformed into an ice cube. It’s we humans, in our advanced human civilization, who are going counter-nature by persisting in remaining in arctic lands and heating ourselves using artificial (and non-renewable) sources of energy.
Once upon a time we used to do what birds do. We used to be nomadic, and we followed the food supplies and the warm rays of the sun all around the globe. Oh well, but times have changed.
Local birds here, on the other hand, really know how to live it up, and these days they are busy building nests. The other day my son and I enjoyed the spectacle of a neon green parrot busily hawing away at a tree branch. It picked and pecked and wouldn’t give up until it succeeded in breaking off the thin branch. It then proceeded to take off with the enooorrrrmous branch dragging about in its beak until it arrived at its own tree nearby, where we could observe how it added the tree branch to its nest.
If I could ever take the time out during out daily morning marathon to snap a photo, I’ll add a pic here of birds flying north for the spring another day.
But in the meantime, here is a pic of some green buds. Although on the other hand, green buds here don’t necessarily mean spring, either, because here we have blossoms all year round!
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