There was once an eagle born, innately fierce and proud,
designed to sail with confidence upon the highest wind.
On the first day, with unwaivering strength, he learned
to spread his wings and to hold them there
with his face turned toward the sky.
On the second day, to his bewilderment, he was snatched away from
the world which he knew in his soul to be his birthright, and was
cast into captivity. Still, he lifted his wings often, in pure determination.
One clear and blustery day, the wind spoke to him through a
single tiny window nestled near the top of the prison walls.
'We are one,' it whispered softly in the eagle's ear. 'We will fly.'
He rose then, gracefully, to the highest point of the prison. At its
uppermost peak, the voices of his captors drifted up, echoing
off of the cold, confining walls. 'You cannot fly,' they called to him.
Still, he flew and he flew until the voices below embedded their
poisonous arrows into his heart and pulled him downward.
In slow descent and weakening resolve he landed,
dejected, onto the ground beneath him.
'We must clip his wings,' one captor whispered.
'No,' sneered another, 'there is no need. He will not try again.
' Time labored on as The Eagle accepted his fate, draining his hopes
of a life without limits. Less frequently did he gaze upward through
the window to glimpse the blue sky of freedom.
No longer could he hear the wind's enticing call to flight.
The other birds around him, in secret envy of his grace and beauty
and strength, swarmed around him, seeking protection from the
predators among them. Honor-bound by nature, The Eagle
drew them under his wings and, with longsuffering, endured the
pecking away of the birds of prey. At the passing of each crisis,
those whom he had protected would flap their wings, fluttering
in his face and shrieking at him before resuming their
mindless prison games.
One dark and stormy day, he glanced without hope once again
toward the window. The wind howled ferociously as the other
captives cried in panicked frenzy. Alone in a distant corner,
The Eagle became still as he heard once more, above the
clamour, a whisper in the wind.
'We are one. We will fly,' it said.
A dim spark of light flickered briefly before his eyes, and suddenly,
with a flash of lightning and a thunderous roar, every light in
the prison was extinguished. As his fellow captives shouted
and ran desperately, fruitlessly in circles, a powerful wind
swept through the prison entrance, rustling through his feathers
and stirring his heart. As the fear instilled in him for so long began
to vanish, he looked intently around him. In another illuminating flash
of light, he saw that the prison door had been flung wide open. And
he watched those around him with the revelation that they
could not see it for their crippling fear.
The hope and courage with which he had been born returned
as he strode purposefully to the opening, uncertain
of what may await him on the outside. Warnings from behind and
from within assaulted him as the others watched his retreat
with amazement. With growing determination, he stepped
decisively through the door, leaving the prison and its captives behind.
Pounding rain attacked him from the ominous dark clouds which
concealed the sky above. Thunder shouted angrily in an attempt to stifle
the voice of the wind. But now attuned to its voice, he heard its message
beckoning to him.
'One more time,' it pleaded. 'Spread your royal wings.'
As the storm raged even louder and more threateningly around him,
The Eagle faltered, remembering his long forgotten flight of years past.
The voice of the wind then bellowed.
'Above and beyond the storm, we will fly. Only then shall freedom
be yours to possess.' Disrobing himself of fear and confinement,
The Eagle courageously embraced unfamiliar hope to his breast.
Obeying the persistent voice of the wind,
he began to lift his wings from his sides.
When at last he stood, arms extended, he lifted his face to the
intimidating sky. With an instinct long buried, he walked slowly forward,
moving his wings steadily faster, stronger, in and up and down motion.
Now fiercely committed to his journey, he saw before him a cliff
overlooking jagged rocks and turbulent sea far below. Without hesitation,
he increased his speed and leapt into the whirling vastness.
The Eagle looked back one last time toward his prison and faltered.
Fear gripped his heart in a ruthless vice. It was all he had known.
Would the mysteries that lay ahead cause him to long for the
safety of his prison?
Once again, an impassioned whisper, the wind called to The Eagle.
'Up here,' it prodded gently, yet firmly.
The Eagle turned again to face the turbulent sky before him.
Although the torrential rains beat against him unmercifully,
his strength increased as he propelled himself higher
and still higher. With a confidence he had not known he possessed,
he braced himself to enter the menacing clouds. Inside the vortex,
endless bolts of lightning took aim. Still he pressed upward.
With passion strong, he burst through the hostile clouds. Before him,
as far as the eagle's eye could see, lay a shimmering sky of purest blue.
Gliding now on a wind all his own, The Eagle stilled his outstretched
wings and soared in glorious freedom to a place where splendorous,
peaceful light shone above and below. With blossoming confidence,
he pumped his wings, climbing toward the utmost peak
of the majestic mountains surrounding him.
At last The Eagle reached the top. Perched upon the summit of the
tallest mountain like a throne was a large rock. As he sailed toward
the rock, he saw another eagle flying toward him in the distance.
As the distance between them narrowed, he recognized
upon her face the awe and wonder of another no longer enslaved.
Playful and carefree, they circled the mountain peak and each other,
exchanging warm, curious glances one with another.
Unknowingly performing a dance as old as time, their hearts flowered
into full bloom, led by a poignant song audible to their ears alone.
As the evening light began to fade, they gazed into each other's eyes.
Therein they saw a kindred soul.
In simultaneous, soundless agreement, the two eagles
drifted downward to perch upon the rock.
Their regal heads held high and proud, their spirits
now devoted, they came to rest knowing that, at long last,
their hearts were blessedly home, blessedly free.