Soaring – today’s reflection from Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service.
This past week we had some intense weather which included high winds, heavy thunderstorms and tornado watches.
As the weather cleared, the winds remained a bit stronger than usual.
I happened to catch two pigeons flying and was amazed at their ability to utilize the wind to soar with little effort. I know it isn’t always like that for our feathered friends. Sometimes I seem them flying head long into strong winds and battling the forces of nature. But at this moment, it was pure beauty to see these two pigeons using the wind to soar.
I found myself thinking about birds and their ability to fly. These two were so at ease, slightly shifting their wings to lift and glide and eventually gently land at their chosen destination, but my thoughts turned to ‘did they learn this? Or is it instinctual?’ I have seen baby birds learning to fly, so I think that it isn’t something they just ‘know,’ but it does seem to be something they quickly get the hang of.
I googled it and found this explanation on an old zoology bulletin board
For young birds, flying involves both instinct and learning. They do not
just jump out of the nest one day and fly off. In fact, they usually do
not want to jump out of the nest at all (you can hardly blame them!).
Their parents have to entice them to leave, for example, by flying off a
little ways and calling to them. After a while, the fledglings try it, and
by instinct, extend and even flap their wings as they fall. They may then
spend days refining their ability to fly and learning how to handle certain
situations (flying upward is of course harder than sailing down to the
ground, and they may have to learn to avoid obstacles and other
difficulties). Part of their improvement over time is also due to
strengthening of the flight muscles (especially the pectoral, or chest,
It has me thinking about how we approach or can approach something we don’t know how to do or something that challenges us. How often do we want to do something new but because we aren’t perfect at it immediately give up? We can marvel at the ability of birds to fly and acknowledge the grace and beauty when we see them soar, but rarely do we see those fledgling days when flight is uncertain and landings not so perfect.
There are very few things in life that just come to us naturally. Walking, talking, riding a bike even brushing our teeth, all required that we learn how to coordinate thought and action. We forget though as we get older and we have a vast collection of learning to draw from, that doing something new can require that we develop new muscles, either literally or figuratively.
What these beautiful pigeons remind us of today is that within us there is instinctual knowledge that can lead us to flap our wings as we fall, but it is through trial and error that we develop who we are and what we are capable of.
As we age, we may forget all of the trial and error that it took to get us to the person we are today. So when you want to do or learning something new, remember that deep within you is the instinctual knowledge that will help you flap your wings as you jump out of the comfort of your nest, but expect to make mistakes and for it to take time to develop those new muscles that will help you to do or learn whatever it is you have your sight set on.
When we are moving into something new, it offers us wonderful opportunity to release old energies and it is in the releasing of these energies that we heal ourselves.
Here is a suggestion to help you take advantage of this healing opportunity:
If energies are surfacing, take the opportunity to release them rather than push them down and suppress them. For example, you may experience fear or uncertainty, anger, frustration or disillusionment. As these energies surface, they are attached to old experiences and old wounding. The opportunity at hand is to move these energies up and out rather than push them back down. My suggestion is to envision a bubble out in front of you and release these energies into the bubble, then send it off and let it blow up at the edge of the universe. Every time you take the opportunity to remove an energy that you do want, you heal yourself and make room for those energies and experiences that you do want.
So like the birds, remember that when you take on a new endeavor, you may not be able to jump out of your nest and be immediately perfect at flying, but with belief in yourself, time, practice, attention and determination, you can and will soar.
Rev. Christine on Soaring from the July 3, 2016 Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service
Nature’s Sanctuary Sunday Service is offered every Sunday at 9AM ET live on Nature’s Channel It is an eco-spiritual celebration of the Self through the reflection of Nature. We hope you will join us. You can listen to the archives of today’s Service and all services at Nature’s Channel.