A gift from the air

December 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

In recent weeks as I geared up to post this blog. I have felt like a hen sitting on the psyCommons egg and waiting for it to hatch.

The commons of the air has been close by.

Falcons nesting in a wall above the kitchen.

Swallows negotiating loudly above our heads over breakfast.

And then a gift arrived from the air commons. As I sat taking in the landscape, a bird plopped into the grandchildren’s paddling pool next to me.

It sat in the water, motionless, contemplating what amounted to a bad move.


My wife and I fished it out gently with a broom. Settled it on a nearby wall. A young bird? A falcon? Wet feathers, too heavy to fly.


We waited for what would come next. 40 minutes passed. Warm wind. Under-feathers drying. Under-feathers dry. Open wings. Fly. This inhabitant of the air commons took off north disappearing above the forest.

These and the other birds here rattle n shake my imagination.


These swallows know how to fly south down the east coat of Spain across the straights of Gibraltar and south into Africa and find their way back here next year.

Each summer the falcon chicks have a massive existential crisis. For the first time they step off the ledge 40ft up in the wall to become actors in the air commons. What are all these feathers for? Oh yes, flap. Fly. Oh shit, where’s  the nest. This young falcon, whether exhausted, or lost, clung to the ivy outside the kitchen window for a long time before risking another attempt to fly back home.


And the bird in the pool. It had fallen into a piece of life for which it seemed under resourced. Wet, but not drowning, it sat motionless in the pool and motionless on the wall afterwards. Fearless? Terrified?

Do we humans not also have ‘learning to fly’ moments – leaving home for the first time – do we not also mistakenly land in pools and get our flying feathers wet? Situations where struggle is unavoidable? Where we learn from the experience and build a more savvy approach to daily life? And where on occasion support for our difficulties from other inhabitants of the commons is likely to be valuable?

What counts as support and from whom, and to what purpose, is what the psyCommons is about.

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