Healing and the Two Sides of Flight

Annah ElizabethHealing and the Two Sides of, Loss, Grief, and Healing3 Comments

Tossed From the Nest Quote

Journeyer, I had the most exquisite experience while driving to work earlier this week!

My drive follows a local stream, one where I’ve had the good fortune of noticing a doe leading her young fawn to drink, both set in the light of an emerging sunrise.

I’ve seen osprey-like birds resting, their height reaching for the clouds atop one locked leg, the other appendage tucked beneath them.

I’ve seen light dance atop the liquid surface and I’ve seen that same still water rage, cutting the very soil that supports her and spilling over her banks.

When I’m not preoccupied in thought or song, I truly enjoy taking in the natural beauty of that drive I make two, sometimes three times a day.

As I rounded the bend where I had previously seen the mother and child deer, an overhead flash caught my attention; a large-winged bird almost seemed to do a dive bomb before it rapidly ascended.

Hot on its tail feathers was a young bird a fraction of the adult’s size.

Bird Learning to Fly

Even though I was running late for my afternoon shift, I had to stop and take witness of something I’d never seen before.

My heart soared as I watched this magnificent life lesson unfold before my very eyes: a baby bird learning to fly.

I was an unsuspecting and lucky witness of something miraculous, mesmerizing, and truly magnificent.

I really needed that, Journeyer.

This week has been so trying, so so trying and exhausting…

A business proposition turned to shit and, honestly, I am nothing but dumbfounded at how everything I thought was so right quickly turned into something that felt so terribly wrong.

In the midst of that unraveling, I also have been dealing with a rapidly deteriorating dog.

My twelve-and-a-half year old Husky-Malamute mix quit eating, quit chewing his bones, quit taking his medicine for us, and basically went from vivacious to barely there in two short months.

Thunder and his bed of hay

We spent the past month doing everything we could to encourage him, but I knew in my gut what the vet said when she came to examine him on Thursday, that there was definitely something other than the arthritis going on.

His gums were pale, his movement drastically limited, the gleam in his eyes gone, and the numerous chunks of flesh he’d torn from his leg were indications of how much he was suffering.

As much as I hoped she’d have some miracle cure in her bag, something that would make him feel better and give him back some of his spunk, I knew that that was simply my selfish way of holding on, of wanting more…

The humane, unselfish, and compassionate thing to do would be to set him free, to give him the freedom to fly across fields and over mountaintops and through rivers, to roam and run like he’d never been allowed to on Earth.

You see, he was a hunter at heart and no enclosure could hold him, which meant he spent most of his life at the end of a chain or a leash…but no more…now he is free…

Journeyer, even though I know I made the right decision, that Warren and Beauty and Big Guy (even Fave from afar) and I all made the right decision to end his suffering, my heart still aches so terribly, terribly, terribly painful…

I know that the tears running down my face these past two days and the lumps that keep finding their way to my throat are a culmination of everything I’ve been experiencing these past weeks…the hopes and dreams and expectations and anticipations that have all collided into something I didn’t want to happen…

…with my dog and with this other situation…

I hurt, Journeyer. There is an ache clutching my chest at its very center.

And I want it to go away or for me to be able to move away from it.

As I’ve thought about those things, I can’t help but keep coming back to those birds, Journeyer, those damned birds!

I say “those damned birds” with an exhaled chuckle and a smile on my face, and I say it only because one of the chastising thoughts I had went something like this: ” Your dog is dead, Annah, and this other thing has blown up in your face and you’re thinking of those birds?”

Yes, Journeyer, those birds.

You see, before we can take flight we must first be all slimy and dirty and bedridden in the shell that is our birthplace…

When we’re tossed from the cozy life we’ve come to know in the nest, we sometimes hit the ground before we can get accustomed to a new way of putting to use the resources we have.

There is that travel through space sort of flight that makes us feel weightless

And then there is that escape form of flight, where we want to forget, to deny, to postpone, or to run like hell to go as far away as we can from whatever is causing us conflict.

That magical, suspension form of flight is our healing, Journeyer; it is the peace that we feel at our epicenter…

That chaotic, frantic form of flight is our grief; it is the torturous, disheveled sort of stuff that makes us feel uncertain, wobbly, and sometimes like we’ve taken a nosedive right into the dirt.

It’s the sort of OUCH that makes us realize just how much we really do love that appendage protruding from our face.

It’s the knowing that where there is great pain there is an even greater love…

This is where I end tonight: Though I want my dog back and I really wish this other awful situation would go away, there are lessons to be learned and had in each moment…

There is the knowing I need to return to the compassion that resides at my very core…

There is a re-remembering/re-learning of the things I garnered from the Letting Go assignment…

If we are to learn and grow we must embrace both sides of flight, the part that is our grief as well as the magic that exists in those suspended, healing moments…

Can you relate, Journeyer? Feel free to share your story in the comments below…

Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,


On Saying Goodbye

3 Comments on “Healing and the Two Sides of Flight”

  1. Pingback: Flying Lessons | The Five Facets

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