“Step away from that edge, young bird!” The teacher’s stark, reprimanding voice sent me catapulting from my day dream. “You’ll fall to your death.”
“Oh! But what if I fly?” I boldly replied.
“That’s nonsense. Get your head out of the clouds,” she said. “No one’s ever done it before. You weren’t made to fly. Now sit down, you’re disturbing the class.”
I challenged her. I was not about to give up so easily. “How do you know I won’t soar?”
“Sit down and shut up,” the teacher, not in the mood for a debate, exclaimed. “You’re putting ideas in the other students’ heads. Do you want them growing up believing myths?”
“What if staying nested is a myth?” I asked. Her lectures could not stifle my inspiration.
“Class, listen up,” she started in–the teacher did love an audience, “Let me make this explicity clear once and for all. You were not made to fly. The stories you’ve heard are simply tall tales passed down for ages. Make believe fables. There is no flying. If you leave the nest, there is only dying. Nest life is the best life. What lies beyond the edge of this kingdom is not suited for birds. One foot over the nest’s wall and you will plummet to the earth, meeting a most dissatisfying doom. You must stay here and learn. That is your only hope for survival.”
I could not take it anymore. No teacher would stifle my dreams.
“But I don’t want to survive! I want to glide! I want to feel the wind rushing beneath my wings, to sit atop clouds, to chase lightning bugs on the breeze, and to greet the morning sun with a song from the heights! I must fly! I just must!”
I ran to the edge and threw myself over, hearing gasps followed by an uproar. Then, only the violent rush of wind filling my sinuses and ears.
I hurtled downward picking up speed. Everything around me, a blur. “I might not make it!” The thought rushed to the forefront of my mind. “What if the teacher was right? What if I die?”
“NO!” A roar unlike anything ever produced from my lungs erupted. I don’t even know where it came from. The startling noise ushered from my beak caused me to flinch and toss my arms out beside me.
Everything slowed. I could see. Was I not to die after all?
“Wait a second…I’m flying!” I chirped as loudly as a young bird could chirp. Today was not my day to die. Today surely was my day to fly!
When a bird flees its nest for the first time, it has no backup plan. It doesn’t slink to the edge and assess how far away the ground might be. It doesn’t fall from the nest.
It jumps. It spreads its wings. It becomes what it was meant to be.
You were meant for more than the safety of your nest.
Take flight today.