Sat 15 Jun 2013
Migration is not an easy or a pleasant thing for a tiny bird to face. It must turn deliberately from solid land, from food, shelter, a certain measure of security, and fly across an ocean unfriendly to its life, destitute of everything it needs. We make much of the heroism and endurance of our airmen and explorers. Perhaps some day men will rival the adventurous hope of the willow wren and the chiff-chaff; an ounce and a half of living courage, launching out with amazing confidence to a prospect of storms, hardship, exhaustion—perhaps starvation and death. Careful minds would hardly think the risk was worth taking. But the tiny bird, before conditions force it—not driven by fear, but drawn by Hope—commits itself with perfect confidence to that infinite ocean of air; where all familiar landmarks will vanish, and if its strength fails it must be lost. And the bird’s hope is justified. There is summer at the other end of the perilous journey. The scrap of valiant life obeys a true instinct, when it launches itself on the air. It is urged from within towards a goal it can attain; and may reckon the suffering of the moment not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed.
~ Evelyn Underhill, The House of the Soul, via Shirt of Flame