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There's Something in the Air

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Yesterday, I was out at the CSA—the local, community supported agriculture farm- where I’m  a member. It’s getting close to the end of the growing season. The night before we had our first major frost and you could see, walking past plantings, to the barn, which plants had been hit. The basil seemed hardest hit—leaves all dried and shriveled and blackened.

The harvest was mostly root vegetables—celeriac, rutabaga, yams, carrots, garlic, plus what was probably the last of the leafy stuff—broccoli and broccoli rabe, kale, arugala, bok choy, asian turnip greens, and green peppers.

I took the share spelled out on the blackboard—2.5 pounds of yams, 1.5 pounds of carrots, a head of broccoli, two greens, three peppers, five garlics, one rutabaga… and then I checked the “U-pick” board. That tells you what you can optionally pick, on your own, in the fields. There wasn’t much left—just some herbs and flowers. And for the flowers, the board said something to the effect, “not much still alive, but optimists will find some.”  I’m an optimist. I went in search of flowers.

On the way back to the car with the harvest, I saw something catch the light. It was a spiderweb on some of the herbs in the herb garden.

I drove over to the garden and started looking. There were plenty of flowers to find

Then I heard a noise. I looked up and there were birds--  a lot of them. All of a sudden, the noise changed from a few birds to a rushing sound, a brief thrumming of the air. And the air was filled with thousands of birds. Thousands!. They were all flying at once, from one tree to another one a hundred yards away. The thrumming sound was being produced by thousands of birds, wings beating in unison, flying as a huge sky-blackening mass—an awesome sight to behold-- to see and literally feel the vibrations— ending almost as soon as it began.  I pulled out my camera phone and caught the thinning tail of the flock.

I stopped picking flowers. Took some pictures of the straggling birds that were following and then walked across the road to the trees where the mass of birds had flown, turning on the video function on my blackberry.

I could see a few scattered birds flying from tree to tree in an area where there was a partial ring of trees surrounding a small field. Video settings on my blackberry ready, I walked to the middle of the circle of trees and it happened again. Suddenly, there was this whooshing  sound and the birds started flying out of the grasses, out of the trees and again, the sky blackened. I had the camera going, but all it caught was a momentary pixilated shimmering  of part of the screen and the sound. It could not have lasted more than three or four seconds.

The flock spread out as it flew into and across a field to another stand of trees a quarter mile away. Within  seconds, this huge movement of birds disappeared.

There was a lot of magic in those few moments when all the birds were taking off simultaneously, when their wings, together caused the air to hum deeply for a few seconds, followed by an almost eerie silence broken by the few flying stragglers.

It gave me an optimistic feeling and made me think that perhaps we’ll experience this kind of mass  movement shimmering moment on election day, where millions will wake up and, almost in unison, send the US and the world soaring, on a new day, towards a better place.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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It happened here in Minnesota over the weekend. We... by E. Nelson on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 8:51:34 AM
When it happens, it happens very fast.... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 9:15:56 AM
sentiments as well -- especially your analogy ... by Richard Mynick on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 9:30:03 AM
... so I have to thank you again Richard for, shal... by Mr M on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 10:54:40 AM
and you hope they make a difference, then I would ... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:09:32 AM
for the people, like those birds, to rise in uniso... by Mr M on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:49:51 PM
I feel the same. I smell hope, Ihear it, I sometim... by Kathy Stuart on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:13:09 AM
I hope your allegory holds. And I hope Obama&... by Michael Fury on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:02:31 AM
...and it can go the other way, too.  A lot o... by kibitzer2 on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:44:59 AM
Thank you, Rob, for your beautiful, hopeful piece.... by Jan Saxton on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:49:48 AM
 I loved this! And thanks to Jan for inspirin... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:20:57 PM
I am part American Indian and that part of my psyc... by Syndi Yellowbird on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:22:50 PM
After reading the helpful link provided by another... by Syndi Yellowbird on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 2:57:13 PM
Starlings are only trying to survive.  The lo... by Mad Jayhawk on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 11:48:55 PM
No doubt about it, there truly is something in the... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:25:55 PM
Dag nab it! Just when I thought I'd found a re... by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:45:33 PM
The king forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer. B... by Tony Forest on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:05:19 PM
My word of choice is "boycott". Not this... by Tony Forest on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:53:01 PM
except for one thing, this country cannot continue... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 3:53:46 PM
Because part of that something is the awakening of... by Paula Sayles on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:22:54 PM
I agree with you 100%. Well said!... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 4:04:30 PM
was frying a big pot of chicken Saturday night on ... by john riggs on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:38:58 PM
Isn't it funny how for every kind of neighbor ... by Syndi Yellowbird on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 3:05:39 PM
(and practical) as our friend Syndi. But immediate... by Mystic Wizard on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 3:15:01 PM
I felt that emergence of hope when I started readi... by spakitty on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 3:22:17 PM
Watching the animals movement, children change fro... by kteachums on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 5:39:08 PM
This article reminds of St. Louis on Oct 18th when... by Sharon Roach on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 5:47:27 PM
Rob described a state of connection using specific... by Richard Volaar on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 8:37:54 PM
Even the changing of seasons brings on a political... by Gallaher on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 9:22:14 PM
From masses of birds in the sky to masses of peopl... by Sharon Roach on Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 10:02:49 PM
      Silly me, when I sa... by mary sunshine on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 2:43:19 AM
Only Mr. Kall could witness and then demean a trul... by Leep on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 7:33:37 PM
...that all this confusion lies.Tolerate intoleran... by Richard Volaar on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 9:59:20 PM
You have hit the problem on the head!  You be... by Leep on Thursday, Oct 23, 2008 at 9:16:55 AM
And you disagree with me only because you confuse ... by Richard Volaar on Thursday, Oct 23, 2008 at 1:27:06 PM
The leaves are turning.  Birds are flying sou... by Mad Jayhawk on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 11:20:42 PM
Rob, you made a wise decision to become a writer i... by Mad Jayhawk on Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 at 11:23:32 PM