Taking flight

In cleaning out and sorting through piles upon piles of papers that make their home on my desk (and seem to multiply), I came across something I’d scribbled down years ago.

When you have come to the edge of all the light you have

taking flightAnd step into the darkness of the unknown

Believe that one of two things will happen

Either you’ll find something solid to stand on

Or you’ll be taught how to fly.

It’s from the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull  which I first read as a teen. It’s safe to say that this passage went right over my head back then but, as things often do, it circled back to me years later when I needed it. That’s when I scribbled it down.

There are all sorts of ways that we take flight in our lives.  We fly towards things and flap our wings wildly sometimes trying to escape or avoid others.

In the last days of her life as I sat by my mother’s bedside I wasn’t flying toward or away from anything.  I knew where I was supposed to be.

On a visit years earlier, we had taken Ruth to Mendon Ponds park where the chickadees will feed from your hand!

On a visit years earlier, we had taken Ruth to Mendon Ponds park where the chickadees will feed from your hand!

Out of the blue one afternoon my daughter, Cori, decided to bring the mail that had arrived that day. I opened a small package that my friend, Ruth, had sent. 

Inside, I found a little painting of a seagull taking flight along with a note.  “However much we might like it to be otherwise,” she wrote, “our shared flight patterns are also unavoidably solitary.”

I sensed a resonant truth in her words. They brought a great deal of comfort when just hours later, my mother took flight for the last time. In some ways I felt completely alone in my loss yet somehow the love of family and friends gave me solid ground on which to stand.

eye to eye with a chickadee

eye to eye with a chickadee

It’s been a little over a year since then, but I’m feeling drawn to re-ponder these words when I knead bread this week.  What will begin to rise in me as a result of them? How might they shape my actions or thoughts now?

While I am still planning for my new weekly recipes in January, for now I am sticking to the familiar loaves I’ve been making since I started working with dough!  I’ll post one of my go-to recipes and include a picture of the bread as soon as it comes out of the oven later this week!

As Thanksgiving begins its descent, I hope you find some quiet moments in your life to ponder and give thanks for the people and things that give you something solid to stand on.  Please leave a comment so we can share in the gratitude with you!

PS: In case you’re wondering…I’m feeling ready to take flight!  I’m so looking forward to a year of being with you and kneading both bread and life together.  If you haven’t yet, I’d love to have you add your name to my contact list so I can let you know what’s shaping up here!

This is Darrell's hand and his favorite coat which really needs to do a disappearing act!  :)

This is Darrell’s hand and his favorite coat which really needs to do a disappearing act! :)

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3 thoughts on “Taking flight

  1. Mary,
    You will never know how much I needed to read this tonight. I thank God every day for the special people who are in my life. Thank you, my dear friend, for the insights you give, even if you don’t realize all you are giving. God Bless you and yours. He has already Blessed me with you.

  2. Mary,

    You are a gifted teacher, thank you for sharing this great writing.

    I will think of you this week as I knead some dough for Muiolatte(sp).

    With Love,

    • Epic fail on 1st round of dough, it must work tonight or I will have a room of disappointed friends tomorrow. I will take pics, they hope to be filled with a mixture of: oven roasted sweet peppers,asparagus and fennel, fresh thyme, black olives and artichoke hearts and of course a sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese. Stay tuned!

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