Archive for May, 2012


by Ruth Minshull


I see a flock of bank swallows lined up on an electric wire.  There’s a symmetry to their positions, although the spacing is not perfectly uniform.

Why are they strung out in such an orderly way? I wonder.  Are they on a morning break?  Holding a meeting?  And who is their leader?  Did one bird choose that particular wire and command the others to line up in such a tidy fashion?  If so, was this boss bird elected, or born to the job, like royalty?

Five swans glide by on the lake–a tidy parade with Dad in the lead, three signets in a row, Mom bringing up the rear.  Looks like the old man’s in charge here.

A skein of ducks passes over in V-formation.  While they are not as synchronized as the Blue Angels, there is a pleasing symmetry that can hardly be accidental.  They turn in unison, their flight punctuated by the sound of random squawks.  Or are they random?  Perhaps their leader is a drill sergeant barking orders:  “Eyes RIGHT!  Forward…FLY!  Mergatroid! Get back in line.  Flapper watch where you’re going.  All right, SOUND OFF!”




A cloud of little gray birds lights in a field.  There must be a hundred of them.  A minute later they take off again, flying north.  Then, in one big flutter, they all turn west.  They don’t turn one after another in follow-the-leader fashion; they turn in unison—as  a single entity with many parts but only one mind.

Maybe that’s the answer to my questions.  Instead of a boss bird cheeping out orders, there may be just one mind running the whole flock.  Sort of a master soul.

Would this be God?  It seems to me that God might be too busy overseeing the universe, not to mention listening to all the admissions, entreaties and promises on incoming prayer lines.  Possibly He delegates the job of Bird Manager to souls of lesser authority.  He might have a trial period to see if a young spirit can successfully manage a flock of birds telepathically.

This would explain why the synchronization is not perfect, the spacing not flawless.  The bird wranglers are still in training.

Yuppie souls, perhaps, on an internship for angelhood.

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© 2012 by Ruth Minshull

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