Balancing Time Alone and Time Together

This morning as I stretched my arms to the sky in my first Qigong movement beside the ocean shore I noticed one small bird sitting on a rock about 2 meters from the shore, the same kind of small bird I see almost every day when I come here. It was alone and I noticed its presence only because it gave a peeping noise several times. It repeated this until other small birds of the same kind came running along the shore as if answering a summons from the small leader. Usually the group will run together with the leader in front of the line and take short flights as they move along reversing for a bit but then moving along again. The show does not last too long and then they disappear.

But this morning the group stopped short of joining their leader and took flight in formation doing a wide U-turn and in doing so the light of the sun was caught in their wings and the air was filled with sparkling silver lights. They repeated this swooping flight a few times but then took off in the opposite direction. I did not see their leader join them nor did I see where it flew.

That memory of their silvery flight stayed with me until I reached home. I am wondering if what I saw was a silvery dance to which they were summoned to perform or were they birds from another tribe and answered the call in error and realized at the last moment that they should reinvent their path.

I have been fascinated by this bird since I first started to come to this spot to do my early morning exercise routine. I believe it is one of the many varieties of sandpiper. I call it a shore runner because it runs along the sandy shore obviously searching for food. It sometimes can be seen sitting on top of a rock a little way out in the water. It hops from one rock to another and then continues to run along the shore. If there is much sargassum, an ocean weed, or if the ocean waves are crashing to the shore as the tide comes in, they are not to be seen at all.

For a time I saw only one bird and it was always without other similar birds. I wondered why. It was taller than normal and had a longer neck. I gave it a name, Solo, which in English means alone. Each day I saw it hop from one rock to another or run along the shore, making no sound. Then after many days, when I reached my favourite spot the bird had company. All were running and hopping and peeping as if they had come for a family reunion. My thought then was perhaps I had named the bird in error and the name should have been Sola, the female version. Perhaps the newly seen small birds were her offspring and had been safely hidden in a nearby nest.

Many of my blogs have a theme of learning from nature. Seeing the obvious social need shown by these tiny birds, with sound and motion, prompted me to consider the value of this for we humans. There is value in both states of being, solitude and socialization. As we pursue our search for meaning in our lives we need a healthy balance of time alone and time together.

If you are considering making a change in your life, is this a focus for you? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment.

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