A quiet street stretches out in front of my house and parallel to that street is the backyard of a retirement/assisted living apartment complex with a large pond and park for the residents. Everyone in the neighborhood walks their dogs on the no man's land between the complex's fence and the road.
Every fall and winter Canadian Geese land and decide they have come far enough south. This past spring I noticed a few had decided to not head back north and by early summer I knew why. Mommy and Daddy were waddling along with four or five fuzzy little babies behind them. Eventually we figured out their were two families and we've loved watching them grow this summer, catching a glimpse of them once or twice a week. Seeing them evolve from fuzzy little chicks to young geese with brand new feathers.
This morning I was walking the dogs along the fence and heard some honking above. I looked up and almost gasped. The babies, still not full grown, were easy to recognize, trailing behind their parents and forming the familiar V.
They were flying.
I’d like to think it was their first flight. Maybe it was. I wish I could have watched the lessons taught leading up to this morning. The attempts, the progress, the failures.
A few years ago my best friend Jennifer found some letters I had written to her at least ten years ago. She called me and read part of these letters and we laughed (and OK cried) at all the lamenting of unfulfilled dreams and lack of progress we were making and that we still, years later, felt exactly the same. . I can’t tell you the hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and chats we’ve had centered around the same subjects.
I’ve listened to the song quite a few times and I still can’t get through it without crying. First of all, it’s a damn good song and one I would connect with even if I didn’t know her and the story behind it.
But mostly what I feel when I listen to it is that I am seeing her fly and in this case I have watched the progress. The lessons, the efforts, the failure. The fighting. The pushing ahead with the writing and that elusive process we call creating.
I’ve watched her push herself. Attempt to take off, fly a few feet, land, and try again. I think it is as miraculous and unexplainable as those young geese I saw this morning. I think it is beautiful and I am beyond proud of her. She’s flying. She’s finally flying.
I can’t wait to see her soar.