Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby bird

I've been learning a lot lately. Some of it is remembering old lessons I have learned, but forgot for a time. Others completely new to me. How we grow as people and what trials we must face in turn. Somehow it always comes back to nature for me. Nature is so complex and yet so simple when compared to us human beings.

A baby bird is born inside a shell. Protected from the outside world so it can grow and develop, get all it's claws, it's beak and feathers. Mom sits on this egg and keeps it warm. Turning it over every so often to make sure it is warm all over. Low an behold after a certain amount of time a baby cracks the shell and fights it's way outside. Instincts take over and it 'peep's for food. For a time Mom does all the work. She 'cooks', cleans and teaches her babies the basics. She protects them fiercely from other predators and dangers. She nurtures them and helps them as much as she possibly can till 'The Time' comes and her babies must succeed or fail on their own.

A bird cannot 'teach' another bird to fly. It can only fly as an example. The baby that is now ready to leave the nest will do one of two things. It will take off on it's first flight (a little wobbly, but stronger the further away from the nest it flies) or it will fall to the ground and die. Mom cannot carry this baby on her back. This baby must fly on it's own. Mom gives her babies all she can and it is up to them what they do with her lessons. We are not so much different.

We are knit together as a miracle inside our mothers womb. When we emerge into the world our instincts take over and we cry for what we need. Over time our parents do even more for us than a Momma bird does for her babies. We are taught to speak, to dress ourselves, we are educated and given freedoms to choose from. Mom and Dad protect us and fill us with their knowledge for a time and when that time is over we are let go into the world to make our way. This is not an essay on parenting. This is an essay on growing up.

Whether it be family, friends, mentors, clergy, teachers or anyone else that has been privileged with our instruction there comes a moment when they must let go. Let go and let God take over our watch care. We have been handed the tools. We have been given a road map to the universe, if you will. How we experience our lives isn't based on just nature or just nurture, but both. If we hold on too tightly to those we care about we can stifle their growth. It is not intentional, for the most, it is simply separation anxiety. We that are the ones leaving out into the world must learn how to stand on our own two feet. It's a big scary, exciting world out there. So much for the senses to experience. Mistakes will be made. They must. How else are we to learn for ourselves?

I can't burn my hand and tell you it hurts and you know for sure unless you have also burned your own hand in a like manner. Like our parents before us we will tell our children or those we mentor what we did, how we did it and what happened after. They can either choose to be wise and take our word for it or they can go out, do the same thing with the same results. Some things I learned by trial and error. Other things I trusted the judgment of my elders. This is part of the human experience.

I know there are many people that love me and i love them. I know that there are those out there that would hope I never have to walk through the fire again and they cling tight, trying to keep me from making a mistake. I really am not talking about anyone specific. We all do it to each other in different ways under different circumstances for different reasons, but in this small view of everything I like to make it general.

Loving someone means letting someone BE the person you love. I hope that makes sense. We don't want anyone we love to hurt, but sometimes the hurt we experience brings the sweetest joy after it is resolved and this is the point I am trying to make. The more you let go of someone and allow them their freedom, the faster and more often they return to you if that love is true. They may be a bit bruised and dirty, but eyes bright and full of wonder. Think Prodigal Son. Love lets go, it does not cling.

I'm getting ready to enter into a testing period. I can feel it all through my bones. Like a Padawan learner I am ready for the trials. Like the baby bird I need my space so I can set my wings to catch the updraft and fly. And I will fly. I promise you that. I finally have faith in myself if you can believe that. I'm ready for the worst. I've been through the depths of hell and emerged victorious. Now it's time to separate my own wheat from my own chaff. A thorough threshing. I will call out when I need help. I will be quiet when it must be so. I've lived this long and come this far. I think my track record speaks for itself. Both the Win column and the Loss column.

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