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Fledging: A Love Story

September 6, 2014

eagle on next


It’s happening. My children are fledging the nest, and so am I.  It is an exquisite nest we have inhabited these last 22 years. And now my eldest has gone west to the golden shores of the Pacific, and my youngest is preparing to go east in just a year to the shores of the Atlantic.  My wings will spread coast to coast to touch theirs.

All three of us are in a profound rite of passage—across a threshold, through the dismantling of the old form of the family system, into something utterly unknown.  Will we ever, all of us, live in the same town again? Or will we, like so many families, scatter to the four directions? How will we find each other in this new shape of our lives? I would hunt them down if I could—as only a grandmother-to-be would. Even though I know that this grandmother of me is many years off, I can feel her seeing through my eyes, pointing out the next steps of my path—she is my Elder shining through the forty-five year old woman of me, just now entering her second life. This Elder of me already feels her grandchildren moving in the world—she smells the scent of their skin and traces the shape of their tiny hands against the sky. 

What I know is that my reference point is being radically shifted. All of my adult life, I have been tracking these two beings, feeling the tug of the umbilical cord when they go too far. I am wired—ecstatically and gratefully—for this kind of communion. And now, I feel like a sunflower who is having to reorient to the moon or perhaps~to  a whole different star. And even as the ground opens under my feet, even as everything feels so damn unfamiliar, this dazzling star beckons me to turn my face full on to this light. 

I do not know myself to be an “empty-nester”~this term, in fact, feels myopic in its focus only on Loss.    I have always felt the pulse and dance of my own creative life, of my own work in the world within my being-as clearly as I know my calling as a mother. It is true that in these transitions we can lose our sense of purpose, or forget what we belong to. And yet, we are also given the opportunity for some kind of deep strata remembering~ a chance to broaden our vision, to take our next place in the wheel of life. We support our young to grow into their adulthood through our mentorship and direct support, yes~but also through our willingness to live into our unique vows,  engage our passion, and serve life with our very particular and necessary offering. This is the way the wheel turns.

And…. there is grief.  When my son drove away from my house for the last time, I quite literally began quaking. I wept and sobbed and called my own mother because I knew she would understand the visceral ache in the heart and womb, this tearing. Just as it was when they first came into the world-from inside my body delivered—there is a literal flesh and blood revelation. Just as it was then when we cut their cords, so these two children could be offered to Life~so it is so now.

And even though I know my children must literally go or die, that I must also fledge or die, there is still a wrenching. Blood of my blood. Flesh of my flesh. It is a profound intimacy to bear. They are mine and not mine. This has always been so.  Life is their Mother. Life is their Father. And now they will be raised, initiated, named again in a new way.  To this holy of holy mysteries, I bow down.

I too am being offered to Life in a new way.  A vast reservoir of creative energy opens. A groundswell of fresh clear water~my woman life force~streams forth. There is a second birthing happening, and I am available to life as I have never been. And with that, I feel a strange, excruciating, beautiful sense of joy.  The vast shimmering horizon has drifted closer, and she is whispering in my ear. And as I listen to what is emerging,  I am also acutely aware of what is passing. I am in awe of the life that has been central to me—that has been so carefully, so beautifully crafted—a work of art, an exquisite Act of Love. 

Today there is the ripple of the wind in the feathers of my underwings. The Unknown beckons. I am freefalling from the nest and it is glorious. I know the wind will teach me, will take me—that I will find the lip of the current and rise. I know this same wind of Life will lift my children’s wings. I can feel them finding this inner movement, their inner compass, the shape of their soul-breath.  I can feel us flying wingtip to wingtip to wingtip—and then wider, yes, into the spaces between us. Wider still, into the grace between us. Wider still, shapeshifting into our next formation.

What an absolutely impossible task it is to let this fierce love shatter all the vessels we have made, to open our hands to the sky, to let go again and again.  

©Laura Weaver

*This post first appeared on SoulPassages:


Eagle Flying

2 Comments leave one →
  1. tlcgoodness permalink
    September 8, 2014 2:19 pm

    Beautiful sharing of your Truth. Blessings to you as you Re-birth, Fledge, and Spread your wings.

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