pigeons

We tend to dismiss the ubiquitous, humble pigeon as a grey feathery blob,  just a common bird if not a pest. But be not deceived, inside its feathery breast resides a heart far more adventurous than yours. As it forages on the ground bobbing its head and courting with its dance steps, we are persuaded that it is a land creature. Yes in its little mind there is much knowledge about land – where to look for seed and feed, how to use its feet to traverse the ground and how to move its legs in an intricate dance number – but that is only a small part of its life.

bird-pigeon-flying-transparent-background-0400-10049.previewThat little mind knows much more – how to take flight, spread its strong other limbs, its folded unseen wings and rise into the air, far into the sky. Those eyes not only are expert in looking out for seed and worm a few inches away but know how to survey from far above, hundreds of meters away, like when one is in a plane, and make out distant features on earth, recalling in swift flight the route to its nest, how to utilize warm currents of air far above for effortless gliding, doing areal acrobatics for fun, knowing how to join a flock and move together, flapping its wings in quick flight in the absence of currents and gracefully landing expertly with reversed flaps of wings precisely where it wishes, to resume its land creature aspect. It also knows the precise location of the nest it has built deep down a well under the earth and how to descend to the ledge which is home, or enter a building secretly to the enclosure it has chosen over a pillar, a vent or aperture , deftly to laboriously build its nest, lay eggs in the company of its mate’s encouraging gurgling calls, and after hatching to care for its brood and bring it out to learn how to forage and fly.

ROPI_formationFlight_Kumon_b_wikiThis is not what it seems – a mere creature we see strutting about – it is terrestrial, arboreal, areal and avian – a creature of land and air, earth and sky, tree and buildings, wells and towers, outdoors and indoors, earthy minutiae and macro areal  landscapes, capable of maneuvering dexterously in both – pedestrian and pilot rolled into one. We need therefore to wonder, of how much its mind must encompass of these contrasting elements and diverse dimensions – it must be a remarkable being that can handle both and be at all times aware of being a creature of two worlds, capable of switching at will from the terrestrial to the areal – something beyond our imagination and scope as Homo Sapiens.

We need to marvel at the heart of this little creature which must feel dual emotions at once of remaining on land or flying high in the sky. Close your eyes and imagine that you too could have such dual capacity, then sit down and read a book but suddenly decide to take off and swing through the clouds viewing the speck of your home where the book is resting on a table far below and then decide that you need to read some more and swiftly descend and alight gracefully at your door – breathless? sure – but now you look forward to a little more reading – and of course you wont need that car anymore since you can visit friends or go on a date ( as the pigeon does on the parapet of yonder high rise) by simply landing at the door.

Whenever I see the humble pigeon just beyond the reach of my hand as I throw some seed and it comes close to pick at it I know that he has just been flying high in the sky and you could not suspect that it has. It is also the kind of emotions an amphibian would have at home in two elements where land is for procreation and rearing young and the sea is for food and fun.

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