As these words go live today, I will be travelling to Athens, GA with my wife for the first of two graduation ceremonies for our second child. We have mixed feelings about the “flight” she is about to make. On the one hand, she is about to GRADUATE from university and she has a JOB in the field that she has been studying and is EXCITED about. We are thrilled for her! The years of high school and university work and stress have come to a certain launching point, and she will fly today into the next part of her young adult life.
And there’s the other hand. We have spent 22 years becoming so accustomed to having her in and a part of our lives. Our lives have taken shape around our three children over a long period of time. What does it look and feel like to live our lives with her having flown the nest?
Wings can be exhilarating. Wings can be frightening. Some years ago, I was walking out to the end of my driveway in the dark predawn hours to pick up our newspaper. Our house and property emerged from a thick forest to the back of the house where many native animals and reptiles lived. Suddenly, with no expectation, a giant owl flew down just over my head. One moment all was silent and dark and in the next this expanse of six feet of wings were beating down on my head. In an instance it was terrifying and incredible, adrenalin pumping energy.
This kind of event may happen to you today. Or tomorrow. Or maybe it just happened yesterday. Can you allow that it both frightens you (because you weren’t expecting it and you didn’t want to change) and it energizes you (because it is a new and perspective changing experience)? This is the work of wings in our lives. They take us by surprise, and they can lead us to surprisingly new places. Where are the wings in your life, and how will you respond to them? What if to this next kind of experience we chose to respond: hey, this is energy moving. Let’s see where it leads.