Taking Flight. Thoughts on Patience and Starting Again.
I can feel it. I am, once again, falling in love with this mad thing we call life. Tentatively, though. This time patience is required in equal measure to passion.
I’m not used to doing things this way—slowly and gently. I have preferred to throw myself into frenzy and foray, and to just get things done.
I have been in love many times before in that fast and furious way, with people and places and things. That head-over-heels, living off ecstasy, making passionate-bordering-reckless decisions on the wild feelings in my heart. It was delicious. And not sustainable. Like skipping dinner for ice cream every single night.
I do like to be in love though. In fact, I love it. It is my favourite thing. I am not willing to give it up. But I know I must do it differently this time. And so I find myself in this long-drawn-out beginning: listening and moving slowly; choosing delicately and firmly; speaking with intention; adding in more time for play.
In response I feel a flutter: the wings of a great bird long dormant; stirring, waking, stretching; preparing for flight. This time, yes, this time, I know I can fly. My wings are mine to use on this new adventure.
And I now know how they work. I have gone on a few good test runs. I have hovered at the end of this runway, on the lip of this nest, on the edge of this canyon. I have flown little circles above it. Dipped a wing beyond it.
There is peace and joy in this beginning, no doubt. Yet sometimes I feel frustrated with this inching; desperate for the thing that is not yet now. And I think, why don't I just jump? Dive in? Throw myself over the edge? Force myself to take flight?
Part of my hesitation is fear, I know. I fear that I will—like so many times before—be swept up into the vortex of some thing or someone and let it carry me away, only to wake in a pile of rubble. I have never been good at smooth landings. And past heartbreak always returns as a voice of reason, saying stop.
I also know, at a deeper level this fear is necessary. It is keeping me safe until I realize that I already am.
And, I am learning a most beautiful and frustrating thing: patience.
Patience is hard because it requires trust. And trust is hard because I have to let go of control. And letting go of control is the scariest thing in life. But it also feels so damn good. That freedom. That finding of joy and love outside of searching, in the messy here-and-now.
So I am trusting. I am trusting this slow opening. I am trusting that life can be easy; that I do not need to push and strive and drive so hard every day. I am trusting I can just be. I am trusting I can receive. I am allowing the magic and joy in this half-way-flight.
And patience does not mean I do not challenge my fears. Every day I do. Patience simply means being kind to myself and my fears and honouring where I am at in the process of taking flight. If today I feel anxious and retreat, that’s okay.
It is as a result of this permission, this allowance, this honouring of my human experience, that my rationally calculated fears begin to appear less rational. More and more I can hear the stronger quiet voice deep inside. The one that knows that the only thing more terrifying than crash-landing-heart-breaking-starting-again, is retreating to a safe place where life and love can no longer find me.
One day I will soar freely over my canyon like the condors in Peru; diving out from my home in the cliff-face and arcing my full-wingspan into the roaring wind; trusting that no matter how far, no matter how high, no matter how long I engage in my dance with the sun, I will find my way home to the cliffs and the streams and the trees. And I will land safely, too; talons sinking into cool earth like the roots of an old tree, wings ready for tomorrow’s new feat.
That day is coming soon, I can feel it; I am growing into it, or it into me, I cannot tell. I am simply trusting this gradual expansion of my heart. I wake each new day a little stronger, a little brighter; wings tugging at my imagination, calling that part of me that was born to fly to rise into the wind and play.