As spring unrolls, so do my travels… and just like everybody’s, they will be quite different from what I imagined even one week ago!
I spent the last 10 days going down a rabbit hole of researching, figuring out how the US immigration rules work (my ESTA permit is expiring soon), gathering informations on border closures in North America, and planning a crazy amount of different travel alternatives.
In such unexpected circumstances, I am learning much about myself. I realized that plans are not what leads my traveling… that’s my instinct, my connection with the world around.
I am now getting acquainted more and more with this spirit, this connection, and I’m finding out that it resonates a lot with flying.
Being able to join the flows like a winged animal, up in the sky… When I am in tune with it, it feels like I am in tune with the world, and what I do makes sense in it.
It can take different directions, imagine new plans and define desires that can dance with the events, like flight trajectories adjust to winds and currents, keeping the birds’ bodies in the air.
The point for me is not to stick to the plan, but to keep on flying!
I found out that in this way, my choices can look easily unpredictable from outside, a bit like the weather, and still… that feeling stays still and true inside me like a mountain, like an eagle’s silhouette carved in the sky.
Eagles and vultures are an incredible source of insight and inspiration in these days at Sitka.
I often see the vultures soaring low, (like in the videos!) close to the campus or on the estuary, their black and grey broad bodies stretched in the sky. Sometimes there’s many of them, flying together!
A young bald eagle, all her feathers brown, was trying out catches on the river the other day. I spend some time watching it going in rounds over the water and down to the surface, and back up. It was incredible…looked like she was practicing!
The adult bald eagles have white head and tail, and they are easy to spot on the branches around the river, often singing. A couple of them went flying together for a while over the water a couple of days ago.
As the increasing birdsong activity testifies, the courting season is now on!
While the human world struggles, in these days nature tells a completely different story. A story of growth, birth, freshness and smells coming up from the earth. And so much excitement! Birds are everywhere, chatting and singing all the time, not really paying attention to us – and it is such an occasion to observe them and enjoy their spring fever. It really is a gift, to be here and share this world with them.
Winter is over, and like many other migratory creatures, time is coming for me to leave!
Sitka has been home to me as no place had been before, witnessing my entrance into a new space and time in life. This house, the forest, the waters and all their marvelous inhabitants, have been my neighbors, family and audience, mirrors where I saw myself getting wilder and -maybe- wiser… and ready to make my way hence forth.
Given the actual circumstances, my New Worlds Project is getting now into hibernation. It is my intention to let it rest in these months of pandemic, saving energies and fundings for times and scenes that will support and welcome it in the future.
I hope that in one year from now, I will be able to come back here and continue what I started, finally visiting Mexico, Canada, and hopefully coming back to visit Sitka as well.
I know this place, the forest, the river, will call me back home, since it is now home to me.
So for now, I settled on trying to get back to Italy before my ESTA permit expires, in around 2 weeks.
All this took some processing, calls, walks in nature, and friends’ advice, all accompanied by some quite avant-garde baking -and burning- experiments, and I am still working out the actual travel plans (I am actually on hold with the flight company as I edit this post).
Somehow it feels as like the eagles, I am just learning how to fly! All the time spent watching them, and all the birds here, is somehow sustaining this whole process inside me. They are guiding me as I head on.
Even though this situation felt for some days completely out of control, at a certain point I just decided there had to be at least a way, to go through it feeling I’d still be making my own flight, owning my actions.
I looked for for the light way in an heavy world, the easy road when all the others look twisted and obscure. And the answer was coming from the eagles on the estuary the other day, sharp and simple like them. “Italia”.
As the other fellow migrators are concerned, we had crowds of geese over in the last month, painting the skies flying all together, exchanging news, in an excited swirl of energy and movement. They are heading north right now, and gave some show off in the marshy fields just northern of Sitka. In the video below you can see some of them!
Grey whales must be heading north from Mexico to their Arctic feeding grounds right now, after the breeding season, and are probably passing in front of Sitka -although we can’t actually see them. I wish safe travels to all of them!
Other animal friends of the last days have been river otters, king fishers and the deers, who are growing bolder and coming closer and closer to our homes. In the video below, you get an Idea -it was shot from one of my windows!
I have been often thinking of a poem by Bernardo Atxaga in the last days. It is called “Gulls”, and Luis Sepulveda quotes it in his novel “Story of a seagull and the cat who taught her to fly”.
I feel very close to these birds, migrators and ocean-bond, and these words resonate particularly with what I went through in the last days. I let a little extract of it to greet you today. The translation is from me.
I wish safe, light flying and living to all of you these days 🙂 May the winds be gentle and the instincts free of fear. Meet you up in the air!
But their small hearts
-their acrobats’ hearts-
Long for nothing more
Then for that silly rain,
that almost always brings the wind,
that almost always brings the sun.
They long for nothing more
Than for the endless, constant changing
Of the sky and days.
by Bernardo Atxaga, “Gulls”
My Weekly thanks 🙂
The New Worlds Project thanks its generous supporters and friends!
Today I would like to thank a new, anonymous supporter, who signed as EMJADE. Thank you heartily for your support!
Also always thanks to CLAUDIO MURRI, to AUNTIE GRA, THE PROF and SILVIA, and to my whole FAMILY.
Thank you all from my heart!