Probably like many children, I remember being fascinated with birds. That fascination did not leave me as I grew older. One of my grandmothers daily “fed the birds” in her back yard and from her window was the first to teach me the names of the most common birds.
I remember very early being disappointed that I could not catch birds. Not only could I not catch birds, but they wouldn’t even allow me to get close to them. As my grandmother said–if I wanted to get close to them, I had to be very still and very quiet. That, of course, meant that I couldn’t reach out and touch one, much less catch one.
It was those wings! The things that both fascinated me the most about birds (perhaps with the exception of their colors) were those wings that allowed them to do so many tricks in the trees, on the branches, in the bushes, on the bird bath and ground. The same wings allowed the birds to escape me and, as this same grandmother would teach me–from “mean old cats” who were far better than I at being still and quiet in order to get very close to birds.
The very same wings of the soul that allow us as human beings to transcend and extend from and beyond whatever story we are living or hearing right now are the same wings that allow us to escape and be safe when we need to. The wings of the soul that enable us to stand up against injustice also enable us to get ourselves out of danger when we need to. The wings of the soul that allow us to step back from a situation and gain perspective and vision can also allow us to find a place in which to take refuge, to rest and to heal.
When I consider our winged friends, I begin to see that flight can be fanciful, visionary and glorious, but it can also be practical, necessary and safe. Both uses of wings are powerful and creative. The question is: what does your soul need today? You can use your wings to take care of yourself.