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"The Swifts, Conflict, Decision-Making, and Following Dreams" - Just wanted to share this lovely piece!

Srucara's picture

Hello Everyone!

I just read this amazing post from wordpress and I absolutely love this quote and just wanted to share this!

"So, I guess my lesson is that sometimes going and watching the swifts is just a nice way to pass the time, but sometimes watching animals live out their purpose in life makes us question our own and helps us better understand our true nature. Fear is an amazingly powerful thing that can bury us under its weight if we don’t keep it in check. If the swifts were afraid of coming home to roost because of the peregrine falcons that prey on them each season, then the whole ecosystem would collapse. The swifts don’t avoid their journey because of the battle that awaits them at that chimney, they show up every year without fail and remind us that the journey is hard, but we have to go on it anyway."

I am a firm believer in the lessons and teachings of the natural world and this is a beautiful one.

Hope your weekends are swell,




Nan's picture

I wonder if the swifts who

I wonder if the swifts who survive year to year retain any memory of their ancient predator? Of course, there are the new swifts each year who encounter the falcon for the first time.  It would be fascinating if we could really understand if what the swifts know while following their flight path is only genetically encoded and has nothing to do with experiential memory, or if it does?  For how long do they remember their fear?

A tangential thought --  human mountain climbers, they say, who have spent months in base camps, and years before that preparing for an expedition, have a drive so imprinted in their minds, that even their best judgment of the moment (should there be an imminent avalanche or storm) usually cannot dissuade them from seeking the summit.

Another tangential thought -- I wonder if the whales forgive us their very old harpoon wounds, for it is now known that individual whales probably retain these memories.  Some of these same whales, huge leviathans, will come under our tiny row boats, so gently careful not to topple us, and seek out an eye-to-eye connection.  What do they remember of their own histories?

hirakismail's picture

That's a very good point,

That's a very good point, that the swifts don't let their predators get in the way of them still trying to do what they need to do. I will try to keep this in mind next time I sit at my site for reflection.