Today would be a good day to ruffle your feathers.
Yesterday, while walking in the hills, I saw a bird hopping and trying to fly intermittently. Although the bird was beautiful, it was hurt…I don’t know how badly.
That’s the hard part; sometimes, we just don’t know the pain of another. And that hurts us even more.
Yesterday morning I felt tired, empty, broken. This morning, it’s a new day. And although it’s raining, I feel replete with possibilities and open to the process of healing.
I thought I had met the love of my life. In fact, I know I did meet the love of my life. A weekend apart, some wounds from the past, conflicted love, and a hard conversation triggered the decision: “I need space.”
It’s hard to build a house and then see it fall. It’s hard to be happy and then be broken. It’s painful to be profound lovers and then only friends for an indefinite amount of time.
Then it occurred to me. In order for birds to fly, they need space. And though this bird couldn’t fly for long, it was trying. All we can ever do is try. And you can’t control where birds fly or how they do it.
Patience, time and space.
Since that day—the day when the space opened up—I’ve been seeking refuge in the gentle hands of friends, the sacred space I created in my own house, and the outdoors. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I am sure I will spend it painting and teaching a spinning class in tall socks with hearts on them. I’m sure I will make cookies and go to the burlesque show with a girlfriend and try to forget the hurt.
Feel the cold on your face.
Feel the wind run through your tangled feathers.
That’s all I have—all we have.
Fly and hope that others will be able to soon. That’s all I want for you. Things will get better however long it takes. If you’re hurting, make yourself feel better. Realize the beauty in yourself and others. All birds have different feathers, and they’re all stunning.
Being cathartic is healthy. Blast the music! Dance! Paint a picture! Spend time with friends you may have been neglecting! Read some poems. Write a poem. Watch a funny movie. Go for a walk. Go pet a puppy. Go to a yoga class. Make a collage! Lift weights. Go for a hard run. Take photos. Do something to fly!
Today I’m going to go romp around in my cowboy boots and feel the rain on my face and the wind in my hair [feathers] and enjoy living and feeling the world on my wings. I hope you can too.
Hope for togetherness with good intention. If things were meant to be, then they will be. And they will be good. This morning, my double shot in the dark is good, deep and rich. And I hope yours is too.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Ruffle your feathers.
Go fly—alone or with another who wants to fly with you.
I love you.
Jenna Penielle Lyons was born in Portales, New Mexico among sage and sand. Raised in Pocatello, Idaho among the black rock and juniper, she grew up wandering in cowboy boots, running, riding bikes, skiing, climbing, painting, and studying classical ballet. She is a scholar of English Literature, a poet, painter, photographer, musician, and outdoorswoman. She winters in Missoula and spends the summer working for Snake River Hotshots. She is a lover of mountain bluebirds & elephants, tea & good coffee, Carl Jung, Salvador Dali, skiing, climbing in the desert, yoga, harp music, and sagebrush. Her favorite foods are borscht and any combination of chocolate and cayenne pepper. Check out her work on Etsy (The Lyoness Den) and follow her adventures at elephantjournal.com or http://www.thelyonsroarliterature.blogspot.com.
Ed: Brianna Bemel