Wings and Feet
I have a “wings” event coming up soon—my 62nd birthday. It won’t be like my 60th party where I took it over the top with tiaras and jewels. Mimicking the event across the pond when the Queen of England celebrated her six decades on the throne, I wore a jeweled headpiece and female guest were given shiny baubles as they arrived. But it will none the less be festive and memorable because I love birthdays.
“Wings” are those moments in our lives that lift up our spirits and make us feel light and airy.
Engagements, weddings, births and birthdays.
They are celebratory milestones that are marked with pleasant family gatherings with friends and special foods and drinks. I have had an abundance of these occasions in the past few months and each one elevated my spirits.
My niece’s wedding and reception took place on a farm on Whidbey Island, in the state of Washington. It was a beautiful, bucolic setting that lent itself to whimsy and merriment. When arriving from my quaint Bed and Breakfast on the party bus, I noticed a nearby antique piece of farm equipment and I insisted on having my picture taken on it. Unlike a typical farmhand, I mounted the tractor in my wedding finery while my sister snapped a picture. Soon, other family members were inspired to join in and after twenty minutes of posing, clicking and laughing, we had the makings of a great family album that could rival one from the cast of the old television show Green Acres.
The birth of my son and his wife’s first child, my third grandchild, was wrapped in the “wings” of pure joy. The timing of William David’s arrival could not have been more perfect because it was on the exact same day of another past special “wing” event. My grandson will forever be linked to his late paternal grandfather by both name and day for he was born on what would have been our 37th wedding anniversary.
But we can’t just float though life on a constant high and expect to soar above any sadness. So we are given “feet” moments too. These are the lightening rod occurrences that resonate throughout our entire bodies and remind us of the heavy steps of our challenging life path. They are the serious moments that put balance in our lives. Deaths, funerals, memorial services, and separations from loved ones by illness or miles provide the gravity for our souls.
I have been grounded by several “feet” events in the past months. I admit that they pulled my spirits down like a heavy anchor drifting to the bottom of the sea. My eyes filled with tears and my words were thick with sorrow. In one instance I did not foresee the impending loss of my favorite childhood neighbor and the grief over her death blindsided me and the emptiness of her loss lingered for weeks after. The death of my dear mother after a short illness was somewhat anticipated, but we never are really ready to say goodbye to a parent. Our own mortality becomes high-lighted and it is uncomfortable to be directed to the glare of the shifting family photo.
“Wings and feet”.
They come and they go and we must figure out how to incorporate them into our life journey. We cannot expect an equal balance of each but instead we must accept what we are given with grace and determination.
“Wings and feet”.
I know that I have to open up my heart equally to both because each is a part of living. But I certainly prefer to fly rather than to walk. Maybe today I will take an ordinary autumn afternoon and attach a set of “wings” to it and celebrate the vibrant colors and final moments of warm sunshine before the cold winter.
May your days be filled with more “wings” than ‘feet”.