The Acrobatics of Learning to Fly

Two thirds chance our Canada Geese at work will actually migrate this year as some always remain. They nest on the roof the building by the big vent. Sometimes you hear them scuffling, or all hurrying at once. 99.999% we’re entirely unaware. They live their whole lives there, right above our heads.

A lot have stopped migrating. The park across the street from my mother’s place
has geese all winter. Windsor has pretty mild winters mostly
but on really cold nights the sound of the geese all night is unnerving
(while also being subtle training for emotional sustainability while made aware
of suffering via demented all night desperate honking flying on the wind.
They sound frozen and even their honking sounds frozen
like they’re all joined together with the wind
as they honk their way through it. And of course
they know it’s illegal to hunt them here.
They eat the park and migrate to the river and back
all day. And yes I did say they eat the park.
The sparrows have the most daring in the immediate
form of learning. First flight is do or die. We had a good year this year.
A few adult sparrows died, but I didn’t see a single failed first flight
splattered little bird down below the piping holes, all year.
Adult sparrow deaths: One got stuck in our building and never found way out.
One got stuck in the neighbours’ building the friday before a 3 day weekend.
And two in one week that looked like they’d been killed by another bird
in the bird wars. Starling incursions on the shipping yard periodically.
The crows versus the hawks. In rare instances, sparrow versus sparrow.
Our bland back area just waits to happen much of the time
but occurances accumulate.
So like swimming, but, flying.
October 2, 2016. John R Barlow

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