Hope Has Wings

I walked outside this morning to enjoy the cooler, drier air that is forecast to depart the Houston area later today.  As I stood in the back garden, watching it wake up to the day, I heard strange cries coming from the sky.  I looked up to see a flock of eight to ten huge birds flying low overhead.  I got chills ... in all my years of watching for the first geese to arrive, I've never seen them this early. I was filled with hope and awe, and gratitude I was there at that moment.  

I came inside to report what I'd seen to friends and after they too had expressed delight and wonder, we began to discuss the earliness of the birds' arrival and how surprising it was. Inevitably the question was raised: are you sure they were geese?  I thought about that question as I worked in the garden this morning.  As I relived the experience in my mind, I remembered that the birds' cries, which first alerted me to their presence, were indeed different.  This afternoon I did a little Googling and while I'm still not sure what the birds were, my best guess is that they were some type of crane.  

What I am sure about is that my experience was no less moving or uplifting for the mistake in identity.  Rather than disparage and discount the feelings those birds inspired in me, I want to acknowledge and honor them.  It's been a hot and steamy August, and the days have dragged by, dragging my spirits down as the temperatures climb.  What I felt when I saw them is no less real and no less valid to me because they were something other than my usual harbinger of autumn weather.  The hope with which those birds filled me is real, speaking to me of days to come when I'll be able to spend entire days outside, marveling at nature's beauty and doing my part to encourage it.  The awe I felt was real: those birds in flight were an amazing meld of natural engineering and innate grace.  And the gratitude I felt for being there at that moment? That was real, too.  I was blessed and uplifted by being there to witness their flight. 


RBell said…
One of my favorite flocks to have pass overhead is the Sandhill Cranes. Their calls carry an incredible distance; usually I'll hear them long before I am able to discover them in the sky - often only small specks flying in formation. Once spotted, it always amazes me how far away they are yet how clear their calls arrive on the wind.
Cindy, MCOK said…
RBell, I think you have identified my visitors! The videos I checked online of sandhill cranes in flight look like what I saw. Lovely birds.
Anonymous said…
Especially this time of year, when we can see the end of summer up ahead, I can't help worrying for the migrating birds - think I saw my last hummingbird last week, hope the little fellow makes it back across the Gulf of Mexico!
I've seen big flocks of Sandhill Cranes between Katy and Richmond in fields. They are beautiful -- from far away in formation, and up close. What a wonderful moment for you!
Your blog looks great. I like the new format. :)
Every year I say I hope to make it here...haven't managed yet. But maybe there is some info you might find helpful :)