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
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.
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.
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!