For me, there is something captivating, even comforting about migration. Even though my life on the ground may have changed over the year – I’ve lost loved ones, my father is in palliative care – in the spring, the birds return. And while it does not make the losses easier, there is a serene kind of solace found in the predictable beauty of the cycles of nature.
The arrival of the migrating animals after their long journey exemplifies courage, and life’s triumph over adversity. We look up and welcome the geese, not only as a sign of the changing seasons and spring’s renewal, but simultaneously as a symbol of perseverance, and life’s constancy.
That’s the thing about migration – it heralds change, but also continuity. It is a process that transcends our existence here on earth: Migration was here before us, and continues without us. Just like when children grow, they make us more aware of the passage of time, migrations orient us to the seasons of life and create a sense of connection between the passing years.
There is something so worthwhile, so healthy about pausing, and remembering the processes in nature that transcend our own lifespans
Migration also reminds us of unseen bonds that connect us to other parts of the planet. We share something beyond ourselves; We share a living species that calls both of our lands home.
“Where Is Your Home, Restless Wings?”
In the modern era, it is harder for us to grasp the magic of migration. We have developed the remarkable technology to connect with almost anyone, anywhere, instantly, but in so doing may be forgetting a time in recent history when distant lands were still mysterious, and the world felt much bigger. Less than a century ago, simply receiving a letter from a different part of the world was an exciting event. In some ways, migrating animals are like living, timeless emblems from distant lands; messengers reminding us of an intricate connection with people we will never meet, and places we might never see.
And just as I finished writing these reflections, the world outside my window was transformed over night by a fluffy snowfall, and the words on this post are now a farewell to fall.
How wonderful that the timeless truths of nature are right at our doorstep, and the simple act of stepping outside and looking at the sky can help us find comfort and perspective in our modern, everyday lives.
Would you like to learn more? Here are some links to organizations that are working hard to preserve habitat so that life on earth can stay diverse, and migrating animals can persevere. Every bit we do helps, and these organizations are making a real difference.