Autumn Rambles is an online resource adapted and used with permission from Prayerbench.ca
Day 10: Bird Migration
They aren’t always gracious, and they do make a mess on a lawn, but a flock of Canada Geese in a blue sky in their V-formation is inspiring. We welcome them home as a sign of spring and then say goodbye to them when we see them leave in autumn. I (Rev. Gail) had never seen flocks of geese fly over until I came to Canada, and now I recognize them as a sign of a season coming or going.
You can’t really blame migratory birds for travelling thousands of miles to the warmer tropics where there is warmth and a rich food supply. Seeing them in flight always inspires wonder in me. How do they know when to go? How do they know the pathway? How are they communicating? Who says when it’s time for a break? Who answers, “Are we there yet?” How do they care for one another when making that arduous journey?
“The secrets of their amazing navigational skills aren’t fully understood, partly because birds combine several different types of senses when they navigate. Birds can get compass information from the sun, the stars, and by sensing the earth’s magnetic field. They also get information from the position of the setting sun and from landmarks seen during the day. There’s even evidence that sense of smell plays a role, at least for homing pigeons.” (All About Birds, The Cornell Lab)
I think what fascinates me (Rev. Gail) is the way in which they work as a team – taking turns in leadership and being the one out front to bear the brunt of the force of the winds. Their honks are encouragement to each other. I feel that we as a community of faith can learn a lot about how we can work together as the body of Christ – supporting each other, and encouraging leadership. The experts also say that migration begins with a sense of inner restlessness.
Today, as you ramble, pay attention to your inner sense, and listen to where Mystery is calling you. Our journey continues.
There is definitely something awe inspiring about watching a flock of geese migrate.
Reflect on that as you ponder this scripture:
They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.” – Psalm 65:8
Look to the sky today. What wonders do you see? Allow yourself to be awestruck by mystery.
Read and meditate on this beloved poem: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
As you read it again, listen to the beautiful music in this video about bird migration:
Quote for Meditation
“Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. Every creature is a word of God. If I spend enough time with the tiniest creature, even a caterpillar, I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature.” – Meister Eckhart