Murmuration and Praise

In this post, the theme of flying is carried over from the previous post.

Do you know what a murmuration is?  Apparently neither does “spellcheck” which keeps on suggesting that what I really mean is “menstruation”.   But no, I don’t mean that at all.  According to the Merrian-Webster Dictionary, there are two meanings to the word “murmuration”.  The first and more obvious meaning is  the act of murmuring; the utterance of low continuous sounds or complaining noises as in one of my favorite English phrases, “the murmur of discontent”.

The second more uncommon and therefore more interesting usage is when describing a flock of starlings flying and forming a living cloud.  I, myself, only discovered this a couple of months ago and wondered how I went through so many years of life without knowing this.  Perhaps murmuration is not new to some of you gentle readers but for those of you who have never seen a murmuration, then a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is even better.

Below is a video shot by Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith, two intrepid women film-makers of Islands and Rivers which explains the wonder of murmuration much better than I ever could.


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On this Sunday, I have been meditating on the fact that God gives rest, peace and restores our strength when we come to Him  in our weariness and surrender ourselves to His comfort.

The Book of Isaiah 40 and verses 28 -31 says;

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

This has been my experience of God and I hope you will have similar experiences.  God’s grace and love is like the hot thermals that gives lift to the eagles’ wings and allow them to soar ……….or the wind beneath the wings of starlings celebrating life with the aerial art of murmuration.


11 thoughts on “Murmuration and Praise”

  1. I learned a new word murmuration Never heard of it but have seen it often In the place where I lived in Holland On the meadows huge flocks of Canadian Geese came down once a year.

  2. I recently learned that bats murmurate as well. Apparently it’s a technique to confuse predators as they fly out of their caves. I suppose the same thing can be said for a school of fish. Nice post Squirrel. Enjoyed the Bible verses. If only He had given mankind enough perception to realize that this earth is the Garden of Eden, and enough sense to cherish it.

  3. Maybe those weren’t starlings but PigeonMan flying so fast he was looking like a thousand poopers when he was really only one. I consider the flock of crows more Detroit appropriate.

  4. I learned about starlings and murmurations just a few months ago and this was exactly the video that introduced me! It is one of the many natural phenomena that humble and amaze me, another one being the Aurora Borealis. Different but similar, ballets in the sky!

  5. Marja,
    I guess you must be getting excited about your upcoming trip back to the Netherlands and the opportunity to re-visit many of these places of your youth. Maybe you will get to see the Canadian Geese again.

    Mr. Charleston,
    I actually have some some video which I took myself of bats doing this aerial dance from a cave in Malaysia. I will post that sometime in the future. As for man’s destruction of the environment, I believed God created a world that was so amazingly balanced but man believed himself wise enough to manage it, only to ruin everything through greed and selfishness.

  6. Mark,
    Kind of you to throw some breadcrumbs for PigeonMan but he can’t claim credit for thousands of starlings. No, but just as Batman has Robin, then PigeonMan has the Starling Gang. Believe me, thousands of starlings flying overhead – you want to wear a hat and keep your mouth closed. Get well soon, CrowMan.

    We could be twins – well other than the difference in weight and gender!

  7. Especially with that accompanying music it made my back shiver! How incredibly great! We have thousands of cranes here on our meadows along the Baltic Sea, which is quite a sight, too (not now, as we have 21° C).
    And what you say about our earth is so true. I wish people understand this before we have ruined everything. Free Will was a good idea, but we have misused it. I am trying to help educate our children…

  8. Angela,
    I agree. That music was the perfect accompaniment. It seemed so swell and ebb in time with the movement of the birds. You are blessed to be able to see all those cranes. All the best with educating the next generations and ourselves too.

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