wildly human: nature’s way pg 2


Join us for our 21st annual celebration of the migration through San Francisco Bay of more than 1 million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, hawks and other wildlife at the peak of migration. February 10-12, 2017




I think of how much richer we are for our ambassadors of the wild kingdom in so many hundreds of forms, colors, and styles, who come here to our estuary for a time on their life’s flight. We are better for their annual migratory visits. We are made more whole and reminded of our tie to the otherworldly, as humans in a natural world. We are one, together. In nature it is not us and them. It is we. We are with her. Together, we live upon this sacred land. We share the forests, the grasslands, the waterways and bays, the skies and the quiet ravines and majestic vista points. We are connected, rooted, tied, woven to the land and its waters. Yet like the fog that blankets the land and envelops me this fall morning, and the spider webs that appear everywhere, it is our choosing to be immersed, baptized in the experience of who we are, where we belong, that brings to us a reminder of our ancient ancestral being.

I believe we come together during the Flyway Festival each season seeking our true humanness in our shared experiences, on a morning walk on the wild side, transfixed as we view thousands of ducks on a pond, in the company of a master guide, focused and alerted to the potential to see a hawk...we seek the divine in ourselves by passing through that veil of fog, stepping closer to the Bay’s edge, in hopes of connecting we with they...celestial visitors in the skies and afloat on the waters.

Like I purposely come to the yurt camp for the night, to find my own voice among the wild voices, I believe the Flyway Festival serves in that same way; we come together to be touched and awed by glimpses of who we are because of who we meet–migrating. We are better people because we have mingled for a moment with the mystical. 

Over these 21 seasons together, I have found myself growing more spiritual. More awed in my journey. Since volunteer managing the Mare Island Preserve, I have had to learn much more about and lean more on faith. There are lessons one learns from time spent mindfully in the natural world. It’s orienting to that frog voice, now, so quiet and tentative, other times strident and way out there. It’s taking one deep purposeful breath through my nose to sense the odor of that particular night as I lock the gate on the San Pablo Bay Trail each night. Because I promised myself I would always do that.

It’s stopping to say a blessing and prayer of protection for our Preserve as I head home each night. It’s purposefully putting myself on the trail, on the bench, timing my walk to alight on the hilltop overlooking San Pablo Bay precisely at sunset, turning towards that avian voice in the tree, watching for those who come to the pond now, and who arrives later, glancing up to see the flock of geese above and gazing the direction they fly until they disappear. Counting rainbows throughout the showery October day. These are the ways in which we remind ourselves that we are in our own nature. Through these small daily reminders we celebrate the wonder of our being wildly human.

I pray for the grace and courage to in these awkward times, continue to make the time myself, to be that wild, soulful human and I hope that you will find in the Flyway Festival this season, your own momentary spirit-filled path and flight, to the extraordinary, the majestic, the magical: nature’s way.

Will you join us this year as a Flyway Festival exhibitor? Will you support the Flyway Festival with your donations of cash and auction/raffle items? Will you tell your friends, co-workers and family about the Flyway Festival? Will you volunteer? Whatever way you can, please help us ensure another Flyway Festival. We are most grateful.

Call/text or email either Sarah 510-579-1008[sarahcainflywayfest@gmail.com] or me 707-249-9633 [myrnahayes@mac.com] with questions and suggestions. Whatever way you can, please help us ensure our 20th Flyway Festival is a great event. We are most grateful.


Myrna Hayes

Festival Director and Co-founder

Mare Island Heritage Trust




Please make your donation to the Flyway Festival payable to:

Mare Island

Heritage Trust

816 Branciforte St.

Vallejo, CA 94590

Click on the Donate button above or give at the Flyway Festival Wildlife Expo

Photos: Scenic Vista Trail, above left, and white-crowned sparrow and female red-shafted flicker above, Mare Island Preserve, Bill George; Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, above, Refuge staff; former Mare Island Naval Shipyard power plant and smokestack above, Erik Halberstadt.

We’re excited to feature a presentation from Alaska’s Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge: Feeding the Flyways, Sustaining the Residents  
Sat Feb 11 and 
Sun Feb 12 
1:00-2:00 pm 
Wildlife Expo 
on Mare Island