Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“They are saying in the Flock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself”, Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Speed Practice, “then you are a thousand years ahead of your time.”
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. “What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?”
A long silence, “Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anyone who wanted to discover it; that’s got nothing to do with time. We’re ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly.”“That’s something,” Jonathan said, rolling to glide inverted for a while. “That’s not half as bad as being ahead of our time”.
Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The Seagull Speaks Creative Commons Copyright

Creative Commons License
Original work on The Seagull Speaks by Michael A Wride is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Birthday Trip to Glendalough

I was drawn to Glendalough - every so often, I get a yearning to go there (it's only 45 mins from home in the Wicklow hills and is such a special place). The weather was so, so windy...

As I walked down towards the lake, I was being buffeted by the wind and I noticed the fact that most of the leaves had gone from the trees, though not all - a surprising number still clinging on despite (or to spite) the wind. I began to wonder about the wind and the trees and the leaves and began to make internal - external connections... 

The wind was somehow an outward expression of the energy that's been flowing around in me the last few years. I felt the wind represented my breath, the energy within. Sometimes unruly, buffeting me, challenging me to stay in balance, or even gain some balance. I looked again at the trees.... they had shed most of their leaves, but not all in the whirling dervish of the wind...this surprised me, but then I began to go deeper into the mystery...

When I looked into the trees further and focused on the leaves, I realised that this external vision of golds and yellows and browns and oranges and reds and all hues in between of leaves clinging to trees and trees releasing leaves was about me releasing attachments to things that I've put energy into over many years. About releasing, slowly and with thanks and blessing the old energy.

A huge amount of the tree's energy goes into producing the leaves and, in turn, the leaves repay the gift by creating energy from the sunlight for the tree. Then the tree, in the Autumn, withdraws the energy that is left and gradually, slowly releases the leaves. 

It is not an active giving away, a violent prising, but a natural release. The leaves have served their purpose, now they are released in an act of blessing to fertilise the soil and so the cycle continues. But, even in this wind, not all the leaves leave immediately. There are some tight attachments that remain, but they too will have their time for release.

I felt I understood something more about nature and more about myself and where I am right now. I'm releasing those things that have provided me with energy in the past and that have served me well. There are some attachments remaining, but those things too will be released when the time is right, when the tendrils that bind them to me dissipate and dissolve. I don't have to actively work at changing myself into something new in a mechanical way, for the transformation is organic. It occurs in due course. In time. With patience. In cycles that come and go and flow within and without. Like trees blessing leaves as they release them.

Next spring, the trees will awaken from their slumbers and the new shoots will spring forth. The new leaf buds will peep out fresh faced into the warm winds of spring, caressing them into the damp early morning light and the new cycle will begin again as they grow and develop and once again enliven the life of the tree.

A dance of love performed at the centre of the polarities between leaving and arriving, of coming and going, a creative tension that brings forth new shoots! Like this dance of ours with words and the feelings between within and beyond the words. 

It is now Autumn, going into winter, but the spring will come again and new life will appear. It may look the same, but it will also be very different. And so we in our wondrous ways will be the same, but different next spring.