Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fly away Peter, Fly away Paul, come back Peter, come back Paul

Now and again I come across a person whose natal chart I really, really want to investigate. Not out of nosiness, but from wanting to see how that person translates into astrology. With regard to my current "really, really interesting person", I'd be very surprised if what I found didn't enable me to put a feather in astrology's cap. Sadly, so far, I haven't been able to unearth the birth data I need.

That feather I just mentioned leads me nicely to the person in whom I'm interested. One William (Bill) Lishman....not a universally famous name, I suspect, but one that a passing reader might recognise because of a movie made about him and his adventures.

"Fly Away Home" was shown on HBO one evening this week. We watched and were entranced. The film is based on a true story, embellished somewhat of course, but basic facts are true. It tells how it was possible for a small flock of Canada Geese to be led 400 miles to a warmer winter location, by following an ultra-light aircraft.

In the movie a 14 year-old girl, daughter of the character based on Lishman is included, for additional drama. She learns to fly an ultralight and assists in leading the orphaned geese to their winter home. The geese returned to the Lishman property, from whence they set out, the following spring!

In 1993 proper permits where obtained and funds were borrowed from the Lishman Companies to attempt this ground-breaking migration experiment. At that time Lishman realized there would be only one attempt to make this experiment work and so he enlisted his friend, and fellow ultralight pilot, Joe Duff as a back-up pilot. Together they raised and led 18 Canada geese 400 miles from Lishman's property in Ontario to the Airlie Center in Virginia. Those birds returned to Lishman's home airstrip in the spring of 1994 - once again making history and setting the stage for further ultralight-led migration studies. (See Operation Migration website here).
Bill Lishman, as well as being an inventor, a flyer and a keen environmentalist, is a sculptor and designer. He has designed a beautiful underground home - link to photographs article.

I so wish I could discover Mr. Lishman's birth data. So far, all I can find is a note that his flying partner, Joe Duff, was born 1949, and that Lishman himself has a career of at least 40 years. I'm certain that Uranus and one of the Air signs (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra) will play a prominent part in his natal chart, Sagittarius too seems appropriate. If a passing reader has any information on this - please do leave me a comment.

One more thing - a lesson to be digested:
Why? Why should we be concerned with other species when we humans have problems threatening our own survival? As Bill Lishman points out in his book Father Goose (page 206), the human race is not yet housebroken — or "planet-broken." We have fouled our own nest to the point of triggering global changes that we do not fully understand. Awareness of this has resulted in fear, collective guilt and "knee-jerk" reactions which complicate the issues even more. Just when clear thought and cooperative action are most essential, he says, we tend to fall into squabbles between opposing groups. Perhaps what we need most is for a lead goose — like Bill Lishman or Joe Duff — to simply take-off and let the rest of the flock follow along the route to safety.

Leading a few birds cross-country with a pair of humming ultralights may not seem like much at first, but it may turn out to be the only way to our own survival as a species. Look again at the rhythmic perfection of the goose flying on our collective wingtip and sense the miracle of its flight through a misty, saffron sunrise. For that moment, at least, we can be truly alive and know that life is worth living.
(See here)


Wisewebwoman said...

I saw this with grandgirl on the big screen, T and it blew us both away.
I had no idea Lishman was so interesting, not having followed through on him after movie. I do hope you find his astrodata.
Gosh, your posts are so interesting these days, not that they always weren't but you know what I mean...

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Oh good! I hoped someone else reading the post would have seen that film.

Thanks, WWW I appreciate that. :-)