Something wonderful for you to read! Written by Kaylin Steckly, who is a much more consistent, adventurous, lively, dedicated, and self-disciplined writer and reader than I am. She graciously agreed to share some of her wise thoughtfulness with us. Thank you, Kaylin. 🙂
We all want to fly.
We want to soar above all the things that drag us down, slow us up. We want to be free. Like eagles.
Eagles can fly. Eagles are free. We want to be like eagles. We admire eagles and they’re majestic and so many other things that we want to be. We want to be like them.
But we can’t.
Somehow, we’re always tied to something. School, work, families, our bank accounts, we’re late, whatever. But even with those things, we could still fly. In the center of our hearts, we know we could. All those excuses, that’s just what they are. Excuses.
We could fly.
But we don’t.
Eagles teach their young to fly by pushing them out of the nest. They fall until they learn to fly.
And that’s it. We’re afraid to fall. We’re afraid we’ll fail, that we’ll land instead of fly. We’re afraid it will kill us. We’re afraid to take that step off the solid, the familiar, into emptiness, afraid that the updrafts are really downdrafts, afraid that we won’t be strong enough to fly.
And so we stand, both feet planted firmly on the ground, in the dust, in the mud, and we’re grounded. We’re disappointed. We hate it, we want to fly, and we’re afraid to fall.
We cover up our disappointment by pretending we don’t care about flying. And because everybody covers up their disappointment, everybody is hiding, and everybody is lying to themselves, and to everyone else. And we pretend to enjoy being grounded, and we scare those watching us, and we scare ourselves.
We openly mock those who can fly, and we secretly envy them. Our tongues say, “Look at them, flying. People are meant to have their feet on the ground, not their heads in the clouds.” Our hearts cry, “I want to fly, to soar. I want to be like them.”
But we’re afraid to fall.
But see, the thing with the eagles is that when the mamas push their babies out of the nest, they don’t just turn their backs, and that’s it and the babies fly. They watch. They fly beneath that freefall through time and space, and if the baby isn’t strong enough to fly, mama is.
The baby eagle won’t fall and land and die while the mama eagle flies below. Mother love is too strong for that. Eagles teach their babies to fly by pushing them out, and letting them fall and catching them.
We remember that we have to fall and forget that we will be caught. We forget that we don’t have to fly on our own the first time. We remember that we have to fall, and forget that we have another eagle, so much bigger, so much stronger, so much more protective, flying under us, ready to catch us if we fall. And so we stay in the nest and watch the few who have truly learned to fly. We watch and we long.
That emptiness, that open space, isn’t empty. It’s open, but it isn’t empty.
It’s full of joy, and love, and peace.
Yes, there are downdrafts. And sometimes we’ll land and the landings won’t be smooth and they’ll hurt, but they won’t kill.
But it isn’t empty.
And we never fall alone.