Cownose Stingrays

Every spring, thousands of cownose stingrays migrate north toward the Eastern Seaboard from the Yucatan and Caribbean. Seen up close, the cownose stingray is anything but beautiful. With its bulbous “forehead,” six-foot “wingspan,” and barb-covered, whip-like tail, the individual cownose stingray looks like a creature to be feared rather than admired.

But from above, and in formation with up to ten thousand of its kin, the cownose stingray is a splendid sight to behold. Described as a drift of golden leaves, or a stream of yellow butterflies, shimmering in the sun, this biannual migration of rays inspires metaphors galore.

In the first chapter of Genesis, as we read the story of God’s creation of the world, we hear repeatedly that “God saw it was good.” Though we can never truly see from God’s perspective, we can be certain that what we see at any one moment is only part of a larger story. In time, and from a distance, we will see the picture whole.