Taking Flight


This morning, as I drifted into consciousness, I awoke to the trumpet of a Canada Goose flying nearby. It's a call I remember well from growing up in Wisconsin, where you would see literally thousands migrating every year. Their large "v" formations honking away as they went north in the spring or south in the fall. As I looked out my bedroom window, eyes still blurry with sleep, I noticed that the front yard was filled with red-winged blackbirds, robins, and cowbirds. Like the Canada Geese of my youth, these are travelers. Stopping for a break and something to eat before moving onward, probably further north because of the warmer weather and approach of spring. When I fly in a plane. I always love to see the earth below. To follow streams to a lake, to watch the light of the sun cause bright glare on the water as we hit just the right angle. Some people sleep, some read, to me, watching the wild areas move below brings great peaceful distraction. I imagine myself to be one of those migrating birds high above the earth. Looking for the signs below which are embedded in my memory and map my way home. Reuniting with others for a trip across the country. Meeting new family members, making new friends, and catching up on the time in between our last migration. But we are like the bear, the deer, and other mammals. We are grounded. When a bird of prey flies overhead I put my hand on my forehead and shade my eyes from the sun so I can watch with awe. It is a wonderful sight to see that bird catch the drafts of wind and simply soar upward. Coasting along, barely flapping and just riding the air currents like a surfer on a wave. Have you ever heard the sayings, "Let's look at the big picture" or "Let's take the 30,000-foot view of this?" When we talk this way, usually in a business meeting, we are looking for a broader view. For when you are above the earth, above the ground, everything is smaller. Everything is connected and interconnected into one planet. You get a much more realistic view of where we are. Sometimes I envy them...the birds. It would be good to see the curvature of the earth daily. To remind me that I am on a planet in a solar system of other planets and that my "big picture" is really very small. It would be good to dive down and skim the surface of a field in the early spring of the year. To fly just above the ocean of green, glazed with the warm yellow honey of late afternoon light. I'd like to sing. To sing in a tree as the first hint of light fills the eastern sky. Becoming louder and louder as the light grows more intense and the darkness fades. My excitement for living echoed in my song and the gift of a new day is opened in front of me.


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