Of Pelicans and Life

Ric spots them first – an almost endless line of birds heading our way. American White pelicans!

They gather as a group just above where we are stalled, waiting for the ferry, and circle the area before continuing their journey. As one group leaves, another follows in a seemingly endless stream.

“There must be thousands!” Ric exclaims, rolling down his window so I can get some photos. “Each flock has a hundred or so birds!”

I feel as if we are privy to a sacred dance. The pelicans move in and out of formation effortlessly – one synchronized glide.

American White pelicans, I read, are highly social, depending on their communities, or pods, to help with the hunt. I struggle with community – a legacy of too much isolation, issues with abandonment, and other hurts. Sometimes, it just feels easier to stay away from the pack, and yet my soul craves companionship, reaches for deeper communion.

As the pelicans perform their circular aerobics, I witness the numinosity in their instinctual ritual – life celebrating spirit; white wings soaring against a limitless backdrop of blue: a portrait of peace.

The air show ends just as it’s our turn to board the ferry. We drive away, moved by the experience. Isn’t it incredible, how a single moment, can stir us so?

(My challenge this week is ‘reaching‘. I would be honoured if you’d join me.)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #34: reaching

Tree Trunk, Emily Carr 1932
(wikiart.org)

“…she singled out a cedar, wide at the base, narrowing as it grew. If there was any kind of portrait worth doing, it would be the portrait of a tree. But a portrait had to convey character. The channels in this cedar’s raw umber all stretched upward, reaching toward light. It was more than a tree, however noble. It was the manifestation of the attitude that had brought her this far: reaching. Not just the tree, but that idea was her subject. The things in a painting were only bits of visible evidence of a still, small voice whispering a truth.”

– Susan Vreeland, The Forest Lover

I’m reading this novel based on the life of Emily Carr. It is speaking to me in so many ways, and when I came across this paragraph, towards the end of the story, it strikes home. As artists, aren’t we all reaching? No matter the medium, our work is a representation of a search, a need, a longing.

What is it you are reaching for? Maybe it’s a lens drawn (as mine often is) to line that stretches… or is it something stirring behind your words?

This week, let’s follow our instincts, or impulses, and try to capture that for which we are reaching.

All are welcome to participate, just create a post, link back here, and enjoy the creative genius of this rich community.

Looking forward to your responses.