This is semi-related but first of all, have you seen this video of a flock of starlings, also called a murmuration? If not, please watch it because it’s awesome in the truest sense of the word.
This weekend I had the good fortune of being surrounded by folks who practice the same yoga and meditation I do. We were all close in age with only ten years between the eldest and the youngest. It was a delicious weekend because we had excellent food, but also because it was one of the rare times I was surrounded by a large group of people who I’m very similar too. Sure, I’ve been to tons of yoga and meditation retreats but it’s not as if I’m friends with everyone there like at the gathering this weekend.
I had so much fun this weekend and I bring it up because gatherings like these give me hope for the future. If you’ve been reading AWIP for a while you know I had a rough childhood socially. I had some friends but most of them lived far away. I suffered from a lot of peer rejection and self-defined as the “weird” kid. Not because I ate paste or anything, but because I’m extremely sensitive to energy and cared about things like vegetarianism as an eight-year-old. “Weird” is a title I’ve carried with me for much of my life. Inherent in “weird” is not fitting in or being an outsider. I’ve been shifting my focus away from that because I see how much viewing myself as “weird” has been harmful. This weekend was a prime example because I didn’t feel out of place, I realized it just took me a while to find my flock; as in “Birds of a feather flock together.” For someone who’s felt on the outside for most of her life to finally have a sense of belonging is a thing of beauty.
I know there’s a lot of talk about the necessity of cross pollination, of mixing different classes, races, and mindsets, which I completely agree with, but there’s also something to be said for being with people who get you. People who already have a shared understanding of where you’re coming from so there’s no need to explain things to them. People who love and support you and just want to see you happy. It’s a beautiful and touching thing, that sort of community. So I guess in essence that’s what inspires me most. That someone who constantly defined herself as “different” could find herself around other “different” people. That so much love and support could be given and received. Like those starlings who created new shapes by flying together, when people join in groups, beautiful things can happen. Because ultimately even the “loners” and “freaks” will find others like them. It may just take a while. In essence, no one is as alone as they think they are. And when a bird finds its flock there’s great power in that.
I dream of a world where everyone feels a sense of community and belonging. A world where every person has a support network. A world where no one has to fend for themselves because we are all taking care of each other. A world where we can all live happy, joyous, and free. A world where we can all fly with a flock that fits us.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.