He Didn’t Know

That’s for sure. “He didn’t know …”

However, for a waterless non-human, this Ethel Merman-esque high flying bird knew how to catch the camera eye of my friend. My ever vigilant nature-seeking looker happened upon these flights of fancy a few days ago, clicked a few soaring portraits , and passed them on to us via Facebook. Starting off with the words, “Not sure who this is..”, she notes the innocence trailing behind the pack. Some replies follow as closely as he does the white speckles ahead against the clear blue sky. “Blue heron?”. “I’m thinking cormorant?”.

Neither she nor I know. I suspect my knowledge of music and food keep me at greater lengths than her from the truth. If she doesn’t know, then I’m absolutely sure I haven’t a clue. That single spec with wings could be a mini-Batman as far as I’m aware … and that, my friends, is my best guess. I can name birds that meander about for a short time – like chickens, turkeys, and ducks. When one starts naming birdies that flit and soar about against the heavens, heavy gloss starts to overtake my mind. Yes, shiny and new information, but a little too bright and sunny for my bird-brain that isn’t much interested in what kind of bird he is.

What really fascinates me is what he represents … and this gets to the possible point of her post’s comment: ” … but he didn’t know he wasn’t a swan.”

It may not have been her intent. The objective may have been, “Name that bird”. I don’t know. It’s not clear to me. My takeaway, as with most all wonderful whatsits before me, is to think, #1.) Did I take all my meds today?, #2) If I did, are my glasses on my face?, and #3) If both are answered in the affirmative, is what I am seeing just that, or is there another there … there?

Digging down (or, up in this case), we have a “there”. Look! Up in the sky … It’s …

Wanting to belong, to be accepted. Attaching this very basic human need to the personality of a yet-to-be-identified bird. He didn’t know for sure, yet there his wings were – drafted into the same pattern set ahead by welcoming, perhaps even unsuspecting, friends ahead. Still pictures don’t give us the same perspective my friend had as these twenty-something (plus one) in numbers danced their way into her camera lens. She had a first-view account as she immediately accepted them as her friends … an acceptance of them into a world of photographic pleasure she enjoys as one belonging to nature itself.

That’s possibly the “there” here. We belong to nature and are accepted by her. She cradles us if we allow her to do so. The bare grass under our naked feet on a warm, sunny day. A deep, consoling breath of fresh mountain air after a long week of ugh-ness. The crackling and pitter-patter of a stream full of the occasional passerby fish a foot or two below, or maybe just a short nap while sitting on the front porch of your choice … All of these are our swans of smoothness ahead showing the way. We don’t identify as grass, air, streams, or porches, but we can certainly enjoy the benefits of the path they provide for us.

Black swans once were thought to be imaginary. Dutch explorers discovered them in Western Australia around the mid-to-late 17th century blowing that theory out of the water, but not the swans … so relax. That I knew. What I didn’t know was this thing called the Black Swan Theory. To be simple here, it is a metaphor that describes a rare event (or events) that are beyond the realm of normal expectations. It has other hang-along requirements. For purposes here, I’m sticking with that easy, kite-flying definition.

Pretty sure my clicker confidante didn’t arise that morning expecting to find a flock of fancy afoot overhead that day – especially one with a tricky flapper trailing behind. It was a rare event beyond her province of normalcy. What is normal, anyway … right? She looks for certain surprising, remarkable whatsits underfoot and overhead then attaches it to 21st century technology, … and with that, we can live new experiences though her lens allowing us to be slightly different believing anything we want.

… Like acceptance even if we don’t know who we are 100%, or where we belong.

Maybe if we look up once in a while like she did that delightful day, the wait for another picture won’t be so long until she graces us with another.

Here’s to all the black swans who believe there’s a sky for them filled with friends who will show them a way.

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