leaving the nest

A friend of mine is completing a rigorous program of study in sacred music. It has required a departure from much of the life she has always known. A recent conversation about her journey seems to have led me to this:

I saw this bird nest while I was running errands one day. I was intrigued by the visual- an empty nest lodged between steel bars.   Since photographing it a few years ago, I have had it pinned to my easel, nestled amongst an array of quotes, a monologue and a sheet of music. Now seemed the time to explore its place in my imagination.

It appears to me that as humans, we are required to leave the nest on more than one occasion- that safe place that has been built for our protection and our growth. One day, quite unexpectedly, we find ourselves once again propelled by a silent urging, the recipient of a gentle nudge by a deft hand . . . another unanticipated call to flight has arrived.

Each time, may we remember what Rainer Maria Rilke once penned, “This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. 
Even a bird has to do that
 before he can fly.” -II, 16 Rilke's Book of Hours, Love Poems to God; Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

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