Murmurations and the Heart’s Call
Rise in common cause.
The world we want to live in
needs every winged bird. — Marg Walker
You might hear it before you see it—a distant, muffled applause drawing your attention to a dark smudge rising on the horizon. Then it sweeps across the sky, claiming the full width of your vision — a flock, a murmuration of starlings, a beautiful black blanket rolling open, loosely woven of thousands of small chirping birds audibly flapping their wings. It unfurls overhead, then narrows into a long undulating ribbon rippling away from you, curling back, this way and that, before moving on.
Standing speechless below, you feel yourself lifted, swept up in astonishment and deep connection — with the birds overhead as well as the ground beneath your feet. Your heart is called and claimed by the magnificent, moving world you belong in.
A murmuration of starlings is a miracle to behold and a wonder to understand — how the flock turns and advances together, especially when sensing danger, each bird in intimate communication with six others in overlapping groups of seven. Fluidly interconnected, they sense the movement of others around them as if it were their own, awareness rippling across the flock from one edge to the other.
We humans marvel, but we too have our own patterns of sensing and connecting to one another, adding our energy and awareness to something larger than ourselves, being guided and protected by our belonging in communities that are alive and moving, alert, responsive and turning.
In the flock we call Unity Church-Unitarian, the murmurations of grace unfold in uncountable ways. During a Sunday service, when the creaking of pews and shuffling of shoes slowly give way to silence. Sitting together in prayer, when our joys and sorrows weave together wordlessly in the air. Listening to the choir, being swept up by the music. Making a meal in the kitchen. Teaching in the classroom. Marching in the streets. Chatting over coffee. Working on a team. Each of us connected to others who call to our hearts, who claim us.
You too are part of the flock, beckoned into the movement and wellbeing of this gathered and growing community and the relationships it fosters within, among, and beyond. Can you hear the murmur, a whispered shared dream of the world we want to live in?
The call of connection beckons us all. How will you respond?
Rev. Karen Hering, Consulting Literary Minister
Bird art by Lori Roberts, littletruthsstudio.com
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