A Swift Uplifting Rush

I was having one of those days this morning and it wasn’t even 9:00am yet. Snuggled deep into my covers, I was on the phone with my BFF. Amongst other things, I had missed her birthday and called her as soon as I had a minute to get to the phone. Where is my brain these days? And I was so sorry. So we talked and she is amazing and I sniffled along, trying to figure out a way to suck it up today.

That’s when I saw some birds. Well, a lot of birds in fact. Hundreds, maybe thousands. Circling in the sky. And they circled and swooped in the distance for the duration of our call. When I hung up, promising myself that today would start getting better, I walked out on to my back porch to see them a little better. So did my six year old. My Flip happened to be right there so I pushed open the screen door, turned on my camera and caught such an amazing sight.

I have seen birds like this in my yard before actually. This is the second time. (I wonder if flocking like this is a seasonal thing?) But this time there were more, and it was somehow more breath-taking than I remember (you will hear me catch my breath on the video below). While I watched them swoop and dive overhead, I couldn’t help but remember the words of a poem that I read at my grandparents memorial service years ago:

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

It seems at times we all need to pay attention to the signs around us. Things happen for a reason. Watch, listen – the answers and quiet comfort will come. Take this for what you may but, for me, this was truly a moment in the morning’s hush and the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds circled in flight. And I was grateful for it.

P.S. Something you might not notice in this video was what sounded like rain falling. It wasn’t rain. And, since I was out there underneath it all, I got hit with it more than once.

Someone told me once that being shit on by a bird was good luck. Perfect. I’m going with that.


#1 Shan D. on 01.08.10 at 12:41 pm

Love this, bird crap and all. xo

#2 Kelley on 01.08.10 at 2:15 pm

That was incredible! Breath taking! What an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing.

#3 Little Girl on 01.08.10 at 7:18 pm

I almost wanted to whisper, “Hi, Gail. Love you.” I hate to sound so cliche, how shit happens and it stuns you, but it’s still sooo beautiful. Chaos in order, order in chaos. A miracle.

#4 Lorie on 01.08.10 at 7:28 pm

Wow!!! I have lived in FL all my life and have never seen anything like that! How long did the whole thing last? Did they all eventually leave as a group and not come back, or are they still swooping around your backyard?

#5 Al_Pal on 01.11.10 at 3:42 pm

Truly amazing, and breath-taking. So glad you documented it.

Love the poem. Agreed that our souls live on, and the body is merely a shell.

#6 Jaelithe on 01.31.10 at 8:59 am

It must be so awesome to be a bird. I mean, it’s awesome to be human, too. But being a bird would be a lot of fun sometimes.

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