It is a mesmerising experience to see flocking starlings dance and dart through the evening sky. Have a look at this beautiful video of the phenomenon:
Wonderful, isn’t it? This huge cloud of birds that shifts its shape like fluid. Closest thing it reminds me of is the magic performed in Harry Potter movies, a big black snake that twists and turns in mid-air with unnatural grace and agility.
I can’t help but feeling lifted every time I look at it, amazed by its solid lightness. When I walked the Camino, I regularly saw solo starlings sail through the air. They would zigzag around corners at full speed, dive up and down and change direction in nauseating hairpin turns.
Scientists still speculate about the reasons behind flocking: To scare away predators is one theory, to keep each other warm another. The evidence is inconclusive however, and the explanations don’t add up yet.
Personally, I like to believe that apart from a smart thing to do, flocking simply is a lot of fun. I mean, imagine you could be one of those birds dancing through the sky! Wouldn’t that be mighty cool?
Not everything has to serve a concrete purpose all the time. To the contrary, if you don’t play occasionally life can become dull and demanding. So, I aim to follow the example of these starlings and try to find the magic and power in play.