Falling From the Sky

By Ronit Sherwin

I heard a wild report on the radio Monday morning about blackbirds falling from the sky following New Year’s in Arkansas.  Literally, dead birds were found scattered in a central Arkansas area.  Then, the next day I heard another story of a similar occurrence south on a Louisiana highway.  It was suspected that something, such as New Year’s fireworks, spooked the birds and they quickly took to flight, literally running into each other and other objects, causing the birds to die.  Today I read another story of falling birds in a town in central Sweden, thus causing experts to investigate and suspect that there may be something more than shock and stress that killed the birds.

I was mesmerized by this story and saddened by the death of so many birds.  What really tugged at my heart strings was listening to one expert explain that blackbirds have a low tolerance for stress and can be easily shocked, be it by a natural storm or by human creations.  How terribly sad.

Humans, on the other hand, tolerate high levels of shock and stress constantly.  Do we really handle it any better than birds?  While most of us do not drop dead from stress, it does deplete on our systems and our psyche.  Our individual stresses impact the way we relate to others and is at times transferred to those with whom we interact.  Similar to the birds, our stress can have a domino effect that is quite negative.

In the end, the mystery of the dead birds falling from the sky may remain just that.  For me, this incident highlights the fragility of life and the blessing and the curse that we as human beings possess to tolerate stress, even as often as we fall.