Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Earning your wings...

The most critical time in a bird´s life is when it first learns to fly. In it´s early stages of life, it is protected by it´s father and nurtured by it´s mother until it grows the feathers it need to fly off and fend for his own. Of course, no one said mother nature was fair and not every bird that jumps out it´s nest, successfully flies through the air. Some birds immediately take into perfect flight the minute they take that jump but many fall into an instant death, others may break a limb and never fly again and then there are those that stumble, fall and get dirty but never cease to try until they succeed.

We all children of mother nature. Wether we like it or not, our genes and hormones shape who we are and biology gives us the instinct that moulds our decisions.

My personal jump from the nest wasn´t the worst, partly because my parents didn´t have the typical birdlike instincts. Whilst their attentions were elsewhere, I often got to practice independence. These adventures out the nest helped me see other´s flight tactics and resulted in enough bruises to help calculate my own big jump. But no matter how much preparation you have been given, your first jump, is always your first jump!

There is a first time for everything. Your first walk, your first word, your first crush... your first kiss. For most of these first times, your parents guide and educate you onto the next level. For every first time in your life, there will be someone there to help you get back on your bicycle, wipe the tears and teach you to move on... This doesn´t necesarily mean you won´t fall again... it means you know what you´re in for!

Disappointments and falls will keep repeating themselves in your life, but with each time, you learn to know what to expect and how to react. Control is the key sanity. When you know what to expect, you can determined how to react and then are in control of the results. This is the reason that people in love can plead insanity... they lose control of their power to rationalize.

Birds never caox their young ones to jump until all their feathers are grown and their wings are strong enough to glide through the air. Humans however, spend their whole time hovering around their offspring and never do seem to feel like their children are ready to face the world. Part of that reason is because unlike animals we are not purely drawn by instinct. God gave us the power of decision.. in other words, he gave us emotions. That way our lives become a maze of possibilities and the Almighty gets unpredictable entertainment.

Hand in hand with our creator, mother nature adds to his sense of humour by providing us with animal instincts. And all this conflict that begins at birth... or rather puberty... is the obstacle course we all have to pass through to survive in our existence.

There´s a first time for everything. Unfortunetely we don´t experience all these first times while we´re still in the nest. First job, first car, house, first commitment. These are some of the things we might experience while we´re already in flight and away from the nest... weather is never seems quite as bad from the nest, but just wait until you´re out there in the rain or scorching sun! (These are the times we value more our parent´s efforts) And it is then when we feel the hail for the first time that we wish we were back in our parent´s nest under their protective wing.

Going through one of these first time crisis in my life, I find myself very homesick. Feeling the desperate need of daddy´s presence. Being the free bird that I am, I have no desire to return home and give up on my journey of independance. Nor do I feel the need for answers, for I have already gone through the questions with the elders and know which path I must take. I simply feel the need to take a pit stop. To stop while the rest of the world keeps spinning and feel the groud beneath my feet.

Every bird flies home even though it doesn´t stay there. Everyone of us creates a nest which one day will nurture the future of our country and repeat our life cycle. But although I am following my instincts as nature wills... I can´t help but feel insecure about my flight. It is not enough to have the rest of the flock tell me that i´m doing well and since life is not about the destination but yes about the journey, there are times when I realise that flying isn´t always that good alone.

To those of you nodding your heads, thinking about your own flight and journey, read my message again. The message itself is an oxymoron which I can only conclude as so:
I am a bird, I was born to be free. I have my own wings and don´t need you to flap them for me. Sometimes I need to stop and rest, other times I will take the routes less travelled on, either way I do not ask you to map my journey. Do not fly ahead of me, for I might not follow. Nor should you fly behind me, for I might not lead down the right route. Rather fly next to me, we can share the adventure and learn from each other´s experiences.

For those of you flying... I wish you clear skies and a happy landing.

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