The Netflix documentary Connected is going to dramatically raise the profile of the Veery thrush.
In the first episode, Latif Nasser interviews Christopher Heckscher about the variable migration habits of the Veery thrush. Some years their nesting period is shorter than others.
In his quest to find out why, Christopher discovered that not only did the length of the Veery’s nesting period have a correlation with tropical storms, but so did the number of eggs they produced. When it is going to be a bad hurricane season, the birds produce more eggs.
“The chances of this relationship being coincidental, in my opinion, are pretty small,” Heckscher said. “We don’t know for sure that the relationship is real, but there is a relationship between what the birds are doing and the following tropical storm season . . . Which is pretty incredible if you think about it because these birds, the timing of their breeding season is determined in May and June, and that storm activity is happening in September, October, November,” .Peter Sinclair, Climate Denial Crock of the Week
When you see what the bird looks like; small brown and intensely vulnerable in the hands of the scientists who equip them with tiny GPS devices, this is even more amazing!
If you pay attention, soak it in, stories like this will take you by the hand and lead you into mystery. Mystery exists on the other side of what we can stamp with human language and explanation. In the space of mystery; awe and wonder, breath and flourish.
According to Matthew Fox , Indiana Jones of 20 Century Christendom (more about that to come!), the only way that we are going to be able to change our relationship with the planet, is through a vital, visceral, pervasive and persistent sense of awe and wonder. Matthew quotes Thomas Berry, cultural historian and scholar of the world’s religions, who called himself a geologian, “The sacred is that which evokes the depths of wonder.”
Matthew Fox further quotes Thomas Barry,
An absence of a sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in many of our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world. It has been said, ‘We will not save what we do not love.’ It is also true that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred….Eventually only our sense of the sacred will save us.”*
The sacred is small, feathered, brown and knows more about hurricanes than we do!