A Story I Wrote For You
There was once a woman who was very lonely. She had no husband or wife, no children- but she had her birds. She had two small birds, a mated pair that gave her all the love and company she wanted. She would sit with them on her shoulders and sing them little songs, and they would chirp along as if singing with her. She always made sure to keep their wings cut short so they wouldn’t fly away, and they could be together forever. The birds would try to fly, but they would fall and she would gently scoop them up and tell them, “It’s okay, you don’t need to fly; I will always be here for you.”
But three years later, the woman became sick. The doctors gave her three weeks at most. With no family or friends to go to, she worried deeply about her birds; how could they live without her? On her last day alive, she was resting in bed with her bedside window open, where she was visited by a red cardinal. It sang her a little tune and pecked at the grains on the wood of her window sill, then she watched it fly away. Realizing what she had to do, she mustered up all of her strength and gripped the bed rail, pulling herself up. She shuffled her feet slowly, ever so slowly, to the large cage where her birds slept. They were delighted to see her, as she had not been able to pay them much attention in the weeks she was bedridden. During that time, their flight feathers had grown long and strong. She opened the cage and held a trembling hand out, fighting back tears. They hopped onto her fingers and she cradled them as she shuffled back to the window. They chirped sweetly along the way. She kneeled at the window, for she no longer had the strength to stand. She held them up to her face and gave them each a gentle kiss, then she said: “I know I’ve held you back this long, but you have a long life ahead of you, and you will be just fine.” She held out her hand, and the female bird who was always headstrong and fearless took flight, landing on the wisteria bush in the garden and waited for her mate. The male looked at his mate, then back to the woman who had cared for him all his life, and chirped as if to say “what about you?” And the woman, letting the tears flow now, said softly to him “I cannot go with you, but I will always be with you. You can do this, it’s what you were made to do. Now it’s time. Go now, my sweet. Go and live a long life.” And with her last bit of strength, she held out her hand once more, and after a long nervous pause, the bird took flight, and it was the last thing the woman ever got to see filled her with more happiness in that one moment than in she’d had in her entire life.
Birds were made to fly.
Fish were made to swim.
Trees were made to withstand storms.
We weren’t built for any of those things, but despite that fact, we’ve done all of them. Never be held back, never be afraid to take that jump. Never be afraid to fly.