September Shift and Sacred Communion

September 6, 2019

For many birds September’s seasonal changes mean work, especially migrators who commit to fattening up for flights of thousands of miles!  This is serious business.  They need an optimum amount of energy to make their journeys.  Ospreys, shorebirds, Caspian terns, blue-winged teal, common nighthawks and many more participate in the wonderful phenomenon of fall migration, so evident at La Vista high on the bluffs with an expansive view of the sky. 


Pondering how I could enter more closely into the fall bird migration brought to mind nearby Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and this led me to invest in binoculars.  Soon after my purchase, I hung them around my neck and headed for the Sanctuary. Why had I not thought of this before?


On this first trip I spotted an indigo bunting, cooper's hawk, yellow finch, bluebird, sea gull, and a bonus - several monarchs feasting on a native buttonbush.  To my delight and surprise, as I observed these charmers up-close, I found I had entered more deeply into the community I claim to have membership in.  The migration I most deeply experienced that morning was my own as I moved another step away from the lie of our entrenched cultural alienation from nature toward the truth of the oneness within the natural world I have been awakening to and teaching about for years. 


Migrating is in birds' DNA, and it is magical to witness; however, human "migration" from one worldview to another is a choice. My simple decision to visit the bird sanctuary and observe bird behavior deepened my participation in the amazingly beautiful Earth community.  I feel one step closer to healing my “nature deficit disorder” and embracing the truth of our splendid sacred communion within Earth’s community.  Join me in taking some moments to ponder these pertinent words from La Vista’s mentor Thomas Berry, “We will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will all perish in the desert.” Happy migrating! 

Photo: Barth Bailey on Unsplash




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La Vista Ecological Learning Center

4300 Levis Lane

Godfrey, IL 62035

© 2006 − 2019


A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate