A Muted Mosh Pit in the Sky

Every once in awhile, a small cloud of little birds appears in the dusky heavens above our house. They dart and dive and dodge, zigzagging so violently, so quietly. It's like a muted mosh pit in the sky. 

Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador; Jan 2017

I like to watch the swallows overhead. Last night they came, and I took a couple hundred pictures, hoping for a frame full of silhouetted birds around the crescent moon. But the only decent photo of the 202 I snapped was this one of a single little bird in flight seemingly sailing through the smoldering dusk toward the milky moon.

As a group in motion, the birds careen and spiral, dancing like I imagine electrons do -- all random, jerky movements with a profound lack of order and design. But the single swallow arrested in time is a thing of grace and purpose that, for all the kaleidoscopic movement of the collective, we might confuse with caprice. Maybe order and design just hides in between the tick and the tock.