Mary J. Budkoski
Wow, we made it! That was a long though exhilarating haul, and it‘s so thrilling to meet up with you here. One of my favorite rest stops to restore, renew, and regroup and it still exists! So reliable.
Those brilliant berries are the greatest how could you miss them? I don‘t know about you, but my appetites been up. Don‘t worry, it will be easy enough to continue the journey. And how did our travels begin? Starting soon after sunset to fly by night well, that‘s true of many of us songbirds, seems we all have an innate calling. Our young have grown, life is currently not quite so stressful, but we feel the urge; once more it‘s time to go, now in a southerly direction. An ambitious trip, but conditions are such that we have the support we need.
Oh, how we must answer to a changing light level, our own inner restlessness, and make our move‚ night time proves to be a stable, calmer atmosphere as I see it. Yes so good to know the positioning of those stars, recognizing the center of a stellar rotation it’s all very familiar, reassuring. As for me, my sharp eyes spotted that mountain shape earlier, once again solid, sure, ever present, glistening in the moonlight. It won’t be long before I see a waterway I’ve previously sighted; following its path will never lead me astray. Wind currents couldn’t be better, and cruising altitude is great! Look, there’s the Big Dipper and Polaris, the North Star, always my steady guide.
Hey, don’t forget Earth’s magnetic field patterns. Unique photo receptor proteins in our eyes, sensitive to certain wavelengths of light, allow us to see these magnetic fields. It’s second nature for some in understanding a multidimensional world, and of course having this ability enhances our navigational skills.
You city folk thank you, thank you, again and again for keeping lights very low in those high rise cityscapes. The weather can become foggy with visibility sometimes down, and as we may have to fly lower, our inner compass still stays strong, making sense of our surroundings. Having fewer worries of too much brightness to distort our clarity of vision will ensure our safety.
Well doing this trip certainly has its risks, still it’s the only way to go. Maybe it’s not enough to stay clear of hawks and other birds of prey; weather fronts can take us by surprise, and there are those wireless systems which humans now use which are even less predictable. Yes, we see changes, we keep doing our best to adapt. Our journey‘s success may be ‘on a wing and a prayer’, but more likely as we honor our highly evolved innate intelligence and drive, these qualities help us to forge through and be where we can continue to thrive.
For surely, we will pass this way again. I’ll be looking for you!
Mary wrote this story to accompany ‘Finding Our Way’, which is featured on the cover of this issue.
Mary studied art, art history, and philosophy at Georgian Court College, then worked as a graphic designer and did some portrait drawings, as well as free-lance work. Most recent displays include ‘Perspectives: Art in the Environment’ shows at Nurture Nature Center (2017, 2018, and 2020), at St. John‘s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and at Terra Café .
- SLV 2023 Table of Contents
- Voices of the Valley – Alphabetic List of Authors
- Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet