LIVING IN, AND LOVING, THE OUTDOOR WORLD

 A crow soars overhead. This is not one of the "blackbirds" which this post discusses at its onstart.

A crow soars overhead. This is not one of the "blackbirds" which this post discusses at its onstart.

As I walked the garden rows, I suddenly saw in the sky what looked like leaves, swirling with the wind currents, swiftly falling and then just as swiftly being swept up before yielding again to a downward spiral in what I assumed to be their one magic “mass migration” from tree branch and twig to the awaiting ground. They were not leaves. In an instant the flock of black birds aligned itself so perfectly into a single coordinated pattern of flight. In another instant the group swooped down, turned wings sideways to soar upward again, and then with a more chaotic flap of landing wings settled onto the outstretched branches, now bare of leaves, of the shagbark hickory. With wings folded down, the noise commenced. Nearly piercing and yet, at the same time, with so many individuals contributing, it seemed more like a conglomerated humming. A background sound filling the sky. Chatter. Chatter. Chatter. I could only listen, deaf to its meaning, but knowing it surely meant something.

 

As I garden and farm I slip into the outdoor world daily. So often I must simply watch as an ignorant, but interested, bystander. I lament the times my work forces me to make a big impression on the soil and plants, when I must pull out old plants, which harbor insects or seeds, or when I must dig to plant, and disturb a toad’s familiar territory. I want so desperately to fit in and to not destroy. I find it such a difficult position in which to be, simply by being human.  Every day I try my best to be a good steward of our land and natural resources – animals, insects, plants, soil flora and fauna, water, air and mineral sources alike. It is my goal, always, to softly fold into the gentle arms of this earth, and leave a kiss, because, truly, I love that it shares so much with me every time I step outside.