Friday, May 24, 2013

Julie Cadwallader-Staub: "Blackbirds"















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
just 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?

Oh if we lived only in human society
with its cruelty and fear
its apathy and exhaustion
what a puny existence that would be

but instead we live and move and have our being
here, in this curving and soaring world
so that when, every now and then, mercy and tenderness triumph in our lives
and when, even more rarely, we manage to unite and move together
toward a common good,

we can think to ourselves:

ah yes, this is how it's meant to be.



"Blackbirds" by Julie Cadallader-Staub. Published by The Mennonite, November 3, 2009. © Julie Cadallader-Staub.  

Photography credit: A large blackbird flock in Illinois' Starved Rock State Park, by Dan Dzurisin (originally color).

 

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