Wonder Word Wednesday
I tend to think deeply about things. According to 16 Personalities, a site where participants can take free Myers Briggs personality tests, I am an INFP-T. Often, when I tell people I'm introverted, they are genuinely surprised because I can be outgoing and seemingly extroverted and I have no problem speaking in front of others. In fact, I love teaching and speaking in front of large groups, but one on one meetings are terrifying for me. A loud party with lots of activity is absolutely exhausting and a concert with loud music and so much going on is draining. I LOVE my alone time, but not being lonely which are very different. (I'll say more about that another day.)
I love to stare off in deep thought and although I may not be able to find my keys or notice something directly in front of me, I notice the flight patterns of birds and see the beauty in poetry. This doesn't bother me. Except the losing the keys part. That is SO annoying. But I have learned to appreciate that I love things others don't appreciate. That's a good thing. I don't need for others to love it for me to find it interesting. Today's word is a result of musings about birds. Have you ever noticed how a flock of birds will change directions together? I love watching this. How do they do it? I'm not the only one to ask this question. Scientists have studied the phenomenon and are still defining it. One site called it a "flight flock" while another called it a "maneuver wave." (For the record, I vote for maneuver wave.) This article from Audubon does a great job of explaining what is going on and how the maneuvers take place. Several types of birds move like this, but one group is especially intriguing, which brings me to today's word.
Today's Word: Murmuration
Four syllables. Pronounced: [mur-muh-rey-shuh n] Defined on dictionary.com (because it's too obscure for my OED) as a flock of starlings. Below I've posted a video of a murmuration. It is positively fascinating. The way they turn and move together is mesmerizing to watch. The sound is almost apocalyptic near the end as they get closer to the camera.
I promise this is an entirely useless word that you will never need to know and will rarely use in your everyday speech unless you discuss the flight patterns of starlings regularly. But that doesn't make me love it any less. The word's beauty is not diminished by its unnecessary existence. Just like noticing movements in flocks of birds, noticing beautiful words is something that helps me appreciate the beauty around me. The Audubon article quotes poet Richard Wilbur who compared a murmuration to "a drunken fingerprint across the sky,” which is a captivating way to describe the undulating movements of the flock. (Undulating, another great word.)
Go for a walk. Breathe deeply. Notice the little things, like how birds fly and move together. Contemplate what Jesus said in Matthew 10:29, "Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent." The video below shows over 10,000 starlings in a murmuration. Each movement is known by God, which is something that I can take great comfort in, even at the darkest of times.
6/7/2018 12:46:13 pm
Isn't this word sometimes used for when in a large crowd, you can hear everyone talking but don't know what they are saying? "The murmuration in the amphitheater could be heard in the parking lot."
7/28/2018 04:12:18 pm
Fascinating! And beautiful. Thanks for including the video.
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