Birds of a Feather
Last night I caught sight of something that took me back to my childhood.
As I was coming back over the Albert Bridge into east Belfast, ahead of me, in the dusky sky was a flock of starlings twisting and turning, sweeping and soaring. I would love to have got a photo of it but I might have caused a major traffic incident, so I will have to make do with the attached photo, which, sadly doesn't quite catch the integrated nature of the flock... It leaves each of the birds looking like individuals... But it is better than nothing.
It reminded me of the huge flocks of old that would have filled the skies in autumn over the three main bridges in Belfast, before the birds settled down to roost for the night. The flocks then were so large that, depending on the orientation of the flock at any one time, the sky seemed to pulse with light and shade. This one was tiny by comparison... but it was a welcome reminder of times gone by. Saying that, when I used to cycle under those huge flocks I wasn't quite so positive about them, as I was liberally splattered with guano.
But the organic, pulsing movement of the flock last night reminded me of the church... Or how it is at its best... myriad individuals responding as one... as if to some unseen mind... Slightly out of sync at times, but each individual contributing to the beautiful dance of the flock on the wing.
But again... Do we see it as much as we once did?