Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Power of Flight

Today is a glorious sunny day in Arcata, a rare sunny day with little wind. I just walked at the Arcata Marsh for the first time in a couple of months. Oh God, how I have missed everything that being in that place inspires me to feel. Perhaps it is because I have processed so much of my evolution and grief there the last three years. The land holds many of my prayers and my tears. Perhaps it is because I have experienced moments of ecstatic Oneness as the vitality of life in that place embraces my entire being. Perhaps it is the power of the water, the water that sustains all of the life that pulses in that place, the water that cleans Arcata's human impurities from the sewer system and returns to the bay as clean water again.

Tears of joy and appreciation for the blessings of beauty in my life flowed as I walked by one of the ponds and saw baby ducks diving in the water and shaking the water from their wings. This is the second generation of ducks I will witness grow into adulthood.

Today's walk was perfect for this Solstice time. While Arcata is sitting under the bright shining sun, there are dark clouds over the mountains to the east and the air is chill. I would walk under the sun and feel warm, and then walk under the shadow of trees and feel the chill creep up my skin under my clothes causing goosebumps, and then to the warmth of light again. The light *always* follows the darkness as the wheel of the seasons and our lives turns.

The smell of the earth and water fills my nose, while the cool fresh air fills my lungs.

The sound of water moving and birds singing fills my ears.

The reeds and blackberry bushes are decaying, leaving marvelous views of all of the ponds that are usually sheltered by the tall plants in the summer time.

And the dance of the birds today -- so incredibly beautiful. There was a giant flock -- hundreds of little birds -- that completely covered two of the islands in the lake. Every so often large groups would take to the air together and dance - swirling, lifting and falling over the water - sometimes in one group, sometimes in two or three, or shifting from one to two and back to one again. They would turn one direction and it would be flutters of white. They would turn the other direction and it would be flutters of black. Their spontaneous choreography, moving as one body, never ceases to astound me. Then they would return to the island and chatter about their flight, hundreds of voices in what should have been a dissonant cacophony but sounded to my ears more like a song with a hundred distinct yet harmonious voices.

And what other reason do they have to do this dance together than to share in the power of flight? What we can learn from their collaborative flying? That there is more power and joy when we journey together, lift one another up with the power of wind from our wings, and fly higher on the current of one another's journey through the air?

I think of how I am able to fly and soar in ways I never imagined because I have shared experiences of growth and transformation with others. I think of how my dance with the people closest to me powers my ability to fly in the world, whether they are flying by my side in any given moment or not. I fly stronger because I ride the currents of joy, witness and support that I share with my loved ones.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

I fly higher because of how well I've been loved by those that journey with me, those that remind me to lift my eyes to the sky and remember I have the power of flight.

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