Not Only My Own
Dried grass, mud, bark, and twigs filled the corner of the ledge just above the doorway. All day, I watched her build her home. I sat clicking my pen at the dining table, with its clear view of this determined, architectural endeavour.
One misshapen twig. Dear Grandma, you were the one I wanted to tell first. You are stability and grace. When mom went to work, you were the one who carried me around the neighbourhood to meet everyone in the town, fed me mashed pears, danced with me, and sewed me pillows with floral designs.
Two olive blades of grass. Dear Ms. Felton, you told me that perfectionists cannot survive in this world, but hard workers can. I am grateful for that light in your eye as you taught about motion, equations that were keys to the world, and discoveries that began with compass needles twitching and fruit falling on heads.
Mud and grey feathers. Dear mom, you know everything I want to say before I say it. So that my words don’t get lost in a phone call of happy tears and blubbering, here they are. All I can say is thank you. You emanated love and it became home.
Another twig. A piece of damp bark. Mud pellets intertwined with white and grey feathers. I glanced periodically until the light in the sky appeared to dim and I had finished writing. With careful folding, the letters were enclosed in envelopes and completed with stamps. I opened the door to see her, sitting above the doorway. In a subtle movement of her head and beak, she nodded at me in approval.
She understood the components that make a home. She knew that my wings were not only my own. My wings were nurtured, fed, healed, and guarded with dried grass, mud, bark, and twigs.
I am writing to share that I finally got my pilot’s license. Because of you, I have my wings.