Friday, July 30, 2010

Movement at Last


It was a Discovery Channel program on the great African migrations I believe where I learned that the herds of animals begin to get restless prior to movement. A tension builds and the individual members seem unable to enjoy the grass or their neighbors or even the shrinking waterholes. And at some point a critical mass is arrived at and they set off.

I noticed this with Purple Martins on a very unscientific level. My father and mother loved Purple Martins, and Dad, a master carpenter, built several martin apartment houses. The birds arrived to occupy them on Mother's birthday, March 29th. You could almost calibrate your calendar by them. Then about now every year the parents of that year's fledglings took to the trees and abandoned the constant feeding of their young until they got hungry enough to follow them to the trees.

For two weeks the trees seemed alive with the frenzy of the Purple Martins coming and going from their flights to catch mosquitoes and other bugs over the surface of the Missouri lake. Then one day they were gone. Generally on my father's birthday, August 15th, their building frenzy reached critical mass and they headed south on their long migration to South America. The year my father died they left late. Almost as if they hung around for him to join them. I cannot look at a swallow without thinking of him.

I think human beings have periods of pent up energy; times of frustration when none of our plans go right; when we are itching to head out. To just about anywhere. I have been keeping my nose to the grindstone trying to get those summer tasks done and feeling the need to move just about anywhere. I have been trapped by a car being serviced and fairs to get ready for so I was thrilled when my sister accepted the invitation to come up for the weekend so we could test her Rubicon modifications on familiar forest roads in preparation for a get away August 12 - 18.

Time to fly!

Meanwhile several of the things in my life I was trying to get unstuck fell into place this last week. The HUD inspection finally happened and I passed, I reached a decision about what pieces to enter in the three exhibits I was considering (totally nixed one because they did not get their act together), got my acceptance for the holiday fair in Albuquerque, and got back to paining for the fair next weekend.

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