It is not easy to soar.
Today is my daughter's birthday and I want her to know that I understand the difficulty she faces. Flying takes practice.
Like all parents I have watched my child with both joy and frustration.
Sometimes she is easy to see. Nothing is hidden. I see all her colors and know exactly who she is.
But other times she becomes obscured, lost in her surroundings. Perhaps, at times, she may have trouble differentiating between herself and the brush - those friends, relatives and situations that strive to define her.
She has often used those same surroundings for cover, choosing to go where she can't be seen even when I want her to aim for the clear skies where flying is easier; where she won't be held back by the need for cover.
There have been, and always be, risks involved in flying. Those times when I watch in fear. "Stay away from that destructive force."
Those are times, though, when I must be still . . .
. . . to merely watch . . .
. . . hiding my reflexive cringe, working very hard at being just an observer, quiet when I want to shout, "No, not there! That's not safe! You could be hurt." I hold my breath and fight motherly instinct to rescue.
That is when I am likely to watch her hover near danger then turn, using the intelligence and gifts which she has been given, to fly in a new direction,
As if she had been teasing me all along; to see if I would stay.
But she must know that I will always be there.
Today is her birthday. I have seen her since before she was born; watched her break out of the shell that first held and protected her. I was with her as she tried to fly long before she was ready. I screamed and squawked with a shrill deafening noise that left me hoarse. Like all offspring, she covered her ears and flew. "Wait! Wait! Wait!" I screamed.
There was no waiting.
She flew into the sun yet she didn't melt.
She has grown strong, landed well.
Today Mary turns twenty-eight. Soon I will be . . . well, not twenty-eight. Once again she is flying off to a new adventure. I will continue to train my eyes toward her, watching her journey. She is still my daughter and always will be but she is much more than that. Her own wings are strong.
Never quite out of sight she flies. No, wait. That's wrong. She doesn't fly. . .
Happy Birthday Mary Nelle.