Whirling Sufis in the Sky

post 116/365


Scanning the landscape with its
breathtaking aerial view, they
soar above. 
Dreams are made of this
flight of fancy soaring higher, 
dodging the clouds, 
and kissing the blue
formations so exquisite
across the ether. They fly in circle in a chanting meditative manner. Dancing in loops, till they all seem like they are merging into one. The progression of their dance rhythm reminds me of the whirling Sufis.

In Ras Beirut, it is common to see pigeon performing what is called the art of pigeon flying. A man on the roof of some old building leads the birds with a flag on the end of a very long pole. As he waves it in wide, swooping arcs, the birds would change direction, despite being at least 40 feet away. The flock of domesticated pigeons is taught to respond to signals like flagpole waves, find its way home, etc.

The humble pigeon is anything but common to those who know the true nature of these birds. For over six thousand years, people have devoted themselves to the art of pigeon flying and pigeon breeding. It is a magnificent calming site.

I stare from below as they share the sky, the clouds, and that rhythmic dance they so naturally and elegantly perform. Watching that freedom of flight, I wonder can there be anything more serene than the art of that flight? To be able to just take off, to fly without worries or fright just going and going, riding the currents of air, gliding through the days without a bit of a care, just flying free, surrendering yourself completely to the instructions of another.

This flight is such a beautiful thing, an innate natural beauty and grace, that paints the sky of Ras Beirut with an image of gyrating undisturbed calmness above this raucous city.


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