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Spread Your Wings

by Stephen Morgan about a year ago in advice

Leap of Faith

Time to spread your wings

Consider a chick in a nest high up in a tree watching its parents come and go with ease, launching and taking to the air with gentle grace, finding the currents and gliding or pushing the air with their wings to achieve balance in the unsupported environment. Imagine that chick growing a bit, day by day, at first just wanting the food that comes back with the parents but gradually it can move its head around and have a look past the edge of the nest, stretch up and peak and see a great big, baffling world beyond. It’s scary. But also gradually the chick develops a desire to do what his parents do as do all children. He wants to fly.

Up ‘til now he has done nothing more than sit in one place and open his mouth when the food comes, he has to stretch past his sibling to grab as much as he can so he discovers the different parts of his tiny body. He finds he has legs so he figures out how to stand on those legs and then he shrugs his wings. He looks down the length of his wings and wonders. He knows the wings are the thing, the thing that his parents use to go out into that big, baffling world beyond. He starts to play with his wings, small movements at first, trying to see how they work. He still can’t imagine how these extensions of his body can carry him above the world that he glimpses over the edge of the nest.

One day when both parents are gone from the nest he feels restless. He starts stretching his newfound legs and scrambles around the nest. The wings have grown longer recently and he has to tuck them up around his back to keep them from dragging on the bottom of the nest. It is irritating. He stands a little higher and lifts his wings; he feels the wind blow through the feathers, notices how the force on his tiny body changes when he twists his wings. He tries to imitate what his parents do; he experiments, flapping up and down, stretching further each time. A large gust of wind charges over the top of his wings when he has them fully extended and his body lifts clear of the nest...and then he panics and pulls the wings in and he drops back to the only world he has known.

It was exciting...terrifying but really exciting! “What did I do? How do I do that again?”

The day comes when his dad returns to the nest but his mom stays on a branch on another tree, very far away in the chick’s eyes. The dad nudges the chick and the chick opens its mouth as it has always done. The dad doesn’t put food in its mouth this time; he just nudges him again, a little harder. The chick doesn’t know what to think of this. While he is trying to sort it out, the dad nudges even harder and the chick is out of the

nest...standing on a branch! He hears his mom call from the far away tree. He wants to go back in the nest but his dad in blocking the way...and coming toward him for another nudge.

The chick turns and looks to his mom. She calls but doesn’t move from where she is perched. The dad comes closer. For the briefest of moments, the chick hesitates, heart beating faster then he ever thought possible, and then he dropped.

As he fell his body took over. He had no control over what was happening. As his head panicked and his heart pounded, his wings stretched and twisted and caught the air currents and beat...and lifted the chick into a world unknown.

advice

Stephen Morgan

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Stephen Morgan
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