|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Guaranteed to Make You Gasp: A Murmuration
There is a certain kind of instant of sheer, unaccountable joy that I privately think of as an American Beauty moment, from the scene from that film where the creepy/cute boy next door shows Thora Birch’s character his video of a plastic bag floating in the wind. He explains, in his creepy/cute way, “I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it.”
I love these moments. They arrive when you least expect them—that's part of what makes them as amazing as they are—and unfortunately you can’t really will them to happen, even when you could really use a good dose of being overwhelmed by the beauty of the world. So just in case the benevolent force is manifesting itself today as spilled coffee and flat tires, behold the murmuration of starlings. This breathtaking video was shot by a couple of canoeists who just happened to come across it, capturing a survival technique starlings use, swirling around as they try to get inside the pack, each trying to imitate exactly the bird beside it. The look on the canoeist’s face at the end of the video—that’s it, exactly, the American Beauty moment.
Oprah Lifeclass: Joy Rising
The book that will make see everyday beauty
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.