I was discussing the ebb and flow of life with a friend recently. Naturally, a topic like that led to thoughts about the weight of the world’s pain, and the often contrasting lightness of the things a soul feels called, attracted, toward.
The conversation turned up the possibility that sometimes our doing what we do is a kind of imitation of our own past, a habitual need or effort to control what goes on around us to eliminate surprises or feelings of powerlessness. But that doesn’t relieve pain.
At times like these, I’m reminded of a phrase from a prayer I’ve been saying daily. It’s a kind of acknowledgement that I — and others — can feel like a bird struggling to fly again:
” … grant that this broken-winged bird attain a refuge and shelter in Thy divine nest that abideth upon the celestial tree“.
My friend wondered whether our part, in relation to what this passage points to, is a matter of following our heart, and keeping that heart connected to what is its Source. A bird, we recognized, flies in accord with the forces that make its flight possible, in spite of what may pose obstacles or threaten to impede that.
When in such a heart-open, flight-focused mode, my companion noted, “I understand that what we do is like a river. It flows and moves, it changes its course according to conditions … I have to flow with it — and I never arrive.
She cited a passage she especially loves:
“I am the royal Falcon, on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird, and start it on its flight.”
“I realize,” she said, “that the unfolding of the wings of this broken bird is from moment to moment. There is not some moment in the past when I was broken, and my wings were unfolded, and that was it. No, moment by moment by moment, my wings are unfolded and I am started on my flight.”
A willingness to have our wings “unfolded”, to listen and hear with our heart, seems to awaken and increase our capacity to respond, and to respond differently.
To fly free, again.
Cited passages from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.