They rose into the stratosphere. Ionosphere. Migrating birds in perfectly linear formation. Below their shadow danced across the surface as land and sea felt them drift in and out of white-gauze clouds stretched so tight that they could catch glimpses of the world below. Like gazing through smoke rising in lazy clouds from fires in pits on a beach. The migrants cut through skies leaving and returning all in the same journey.
He left a cold world filled with high emotion, high hope. And a bit of resignation. He was not sure in which place he belonged. Roots had grown on both sides of the world. And, like most he wanted more. He wanted a dream to grow behind his fading eyes into vivid reality. He wanted to grow like a hungry infant who has the world waiting, to harness the power hidden within naïveté, in the grasp of anticipation enlightened by spring’s inviting sun. There is no question. His world is broad, high, and deep. He sees with a different clarity through dimming eyes. He whispers to ancestors who continue to fill the world with hints, moving tentatively toward wisdom. Accepting knowledge of the world, of self, rising above the smoke in a still air. Knowledge clearly burning away fog and doubt as fast as thick gray mist tries to hide confidence and dampen reason.
They spoke of hummingbirds. Of butterflies. Flying south. But not of warmer climes to which they travel. They spoke of the journey. Of the daunting challenges faced by delicate creatures in the face of a world’s turmoil. Of the roiling atmosphere that buffets tiny, nearly weightless creatures. That buffets us all. Tiny creatures all in the face of the living tumultuous globe on which we walk and live. Challenging all to survive. The butterfly moving south through gusts of wind, clouds of hungry birds. People vanish from coasts and islands inundated by sea and waters flooding from mountains.
He slept in the assigned formation while plunging headlong toward an inevitable sunset. Voices rose and fell. The words were not clear, distinct. They didn’t capture his attention. Occasionally the world would swat at them, make them tremble. But there was no sustained effort aimed in their direction. He wondered, drifting in and out of a superficial sleep, about those left behind. About the enduring entanglement that bonded them. It is a mystery. It is in the blood, maybe in their genes. Maybe ethereal. Enigmatic.
Sun set almost unnoticed behind the gray shroud tangled in the trees and hills around the town. Evening deepened. A chill rose from the earth. And a sigh. The breeze grew stronger and as night took firm grip on the mountains around the valley, the wind stretched the dark clouds like banners. They grew thin, translucent, then disappeared. A black sky arched overhead pushing the cold. Holding it down against the ground.