Gliding Gracefully or Furiously Flapping

Bird silhouettes, dark against the bright sky often kindle my imagination with a romantic notion of utter freedom. Freedom from the tiresome anxieties of the thoughts that plague our collective minds down here in these strange times.

Each type has its own flight pattern and after years of gazing skyward, I recognize some birds by this alone. American goldfinches (quite different from their European namesakes) fly in a comical sine wave pattern. They cheep-ch-ch-ch-cheep and flap furiously to the peak of each wave, then a small coasting down from the crest before it starts all over again. Ducks have that distinctive ungainly flapping, their heads and necks straining before their plump, bomber-bodies, bearing purposefully straight until they land in a mess of turbulence followed by a stunned calm that infers relief and surprise at their own success.

Seagulls flying free over the beach in Australia no anxiety
I most enjoy watching birds glide. Hawks are masters of this, winding for long-stretching minutes, riding on air currents with only slight adjustments of a tail feather here or a wingtip there. Though pigeons also have that fat bomber-body like a duck, they manage to glide between wing beats. Seagulls drift on thermals, swimming lazily through the air before launching into an acrobatic dive targetting a hapless tourist’s unguarded french fry.

The gliding reminds me that we have a choice. We can flap furiously and arrive breathless at our destination, or we can arrive gracefully with peaceful pauses along the way.

A couple days ago, I was flapping furiously in what felt like a downward spiral.  Then I reached out to my flock and today I’m gliding with a grateful heart.

Pigeons flying free - feeding birds in Chiang Mai Thailand

 

 

The birds flew through that ever developing canvas of the dawn, as if their wings were fine quills, drawing such buoyant hues. Those wings in that sky became the colours of my dreams and whenever I needed a memory to lift me off the ground, they were there.

— Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, April 20, 2019.

 

4 comments
9 likes
Prev post: This is not how I was expecting to spend my two year anniversary

Related posts

Comments

  • George Brown

    April 10, 2020 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    I think that you will find that many finch like birds fly the same way. Have you noticed that pigeons flap their wings so hard […] Read MoreI think that you will find that many finch like birds fly the same way. Have you noticed that pigeons flap their wings so hard when they take off sometimes that their wings hit together with a snapping sound. I am amazed that some hawks that hunt for prey on the ground can hover over one spot without much effort, especially if the wind is blowing just so. Once when I was going for the mail at our Otley place, I was able to get close enough to three bald eagles that I could hear the air rushing through their feathers as they took flight. For the last 3 or 4 weeks I have gone to sleep and woken up to the great horned owls calling back and forth. This brings back memories of all the sounds we could enjoy on our Otley place: foxes, owls, cardinals, mourning doves, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, hawks, blue jays, even coyotes. Read Less

  • Philip Brown

    April 10, 2020 at 4:47 pm
    Reply

    Christina, thank you so much for your words and the images they bring to mind. Love to you and your quest!

  • Nina

    April 10, 2020 at 4:23 pm
    Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. My eyes often catch a beautiful vision of a bird floating on air and I feel such peacefulness.

  • John

    April 10, 2020 at 3:57 pm
    Reply

    So very well put Christina! Definitely need to be reminded that we have a choice in how we react to the events around us that […] Read MoreSo very well put Christina! Definitely need to be reminded that we have a choice in how we react to the events around us that are out of our control. Read Less

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

Hi, I'm Christina. I love travel, cats, gardens, house sitting, birds, painting, dogs, museums, good food & drink, you know - all the good stuff! I've been travelling full time since April 2, 2018. Welcome to my blog.

Latest Posts
Most Commented
Archives