Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 4519
Age Group: Adult
Posted: July 16th. 2001
Learning How To Fly
Wren had no idea that a crowd was gathering behind her back. She was busy spreading the breadcrumbs along the shoreline for the turtles and watching the tiniest fishies flit about in the clear water of the Little Pond. Straightening up and flexing her not-quite-awake-yet back muscles, she marveled as the pink reflection of the sunrise was painted upon the pond's smooth surface. Early morning in Florida is the coolest part of a July day and Wren- like all of the other critters who visit the Little Pond Breakfast Bar- likes to finish up her outdoor business before the sun turns the landscape setting up to 'broil'. Grabbing her bag of tidbits, she pivoted back to face the small hill behind her and that's when she noticed the crowd. Well, it was hard to miss since it consisted of about 40 laughing gulls.
Wren simply had to laugh. There they were- all bright eyes and dark sleet heads and white puffy chests- concentrating on her every move with rapt attention and a sort of compressed energy. It was as if they were a professional orchestra just awaiting the signal of the conductor's baton striking the dais in order to begin to play. Wren wouldn't have been too surprised at that point if she had seen a violin or a trumpet suddenly emerge from under a slate-gray wing. Since that didn't happen though, she decided it was probably a good time to dispense the treats in their direction.
Now watching seagulls scramble for treats is quite a show. As the breadcrumbs hit the ground, a great cry of ha-ha-ha-ha-HAH goes up- they aren't called 'laughing' gulls by accident- and the grass disappears under a flurry of fluttering wings and heaving bodies. If gulls had elbows, there'd sure be a lot of sore ribs out there in birdland tonight. To be fair, Wren sends the pellets first in one direction and then the other. That way, those running at the back of the gull-herd on the first breadcrumb volley get a chance to be up front for next one. But there are some gulls- not many but a few- who take a different approach to obtaining their breakfast. Why this is, Wren can't be completely certain, but she feels it has to do with experience, practice and-well, with wisdom.
When new seekers first begin to explore Pagan ways and beliefs, they are much like Wren's little feathered breakfast orchestra. Like the gaggle of gulls, new Pagans spot all of those tantalizing books and tools and other sources of information- and they want to follow them all. It usually doesn't take too long before they are lost in the flurry of circle-casting techniques and 'Wiccan-Witch-Pagan' definitions and whatever the latest flavor-of-the-week new book may be. First they go one way looking for something solid to believe in. Then they go the other way. They may start out all gung-ho for the 'good of all' and then a few months later decide to 'explore their dark side'. And they continue to keeping running up and down the proverbial information shoreline looking for the next, latest and most exciting magickal tidbit. They get confused. They get lost in the crowd. Occasionally, they even get run over by the rest of the herd which is still running up and down, back and forth, here and there in the search for that tidbit of special knowledge. Pretty soon, they may even begin to believe that all this hustle is normal. It's how a Pagan acts. It's what we do. And so if this is how it is, then they set their elbows on stun and start flailing away along with everyone else.
But there are some that are different. Like the laughing gulls, these are the ones who learn from experience, practice what they have learned and so become wise. Some of the gulls that Wren sees every morning don't run with the pack. Instead of scrambling for the tidbits that hit the ground, they gracefully hover about a foot over and around her head. And as she tosses the breadcrumbs out, they are right there to receive them. Looking straight into their shining and intelligent eyes, Wren is in awe of their focused concentration and skill. Seemingly without effort, they float and all the while those bright eyes never leave her hands. At the first sign of any bread-flicking motion, they make the appropriate flight pattern adjustments and the crumbs almost magically appear in their bills. There is no wasted motion, no excess expenditure of energy. Every movement, however slight, is an artform of precision. And their 'magick' always works. The elegance of such execution of control and focus would be the envy-and perhaps should be the envy-of any budding magickal practitioner.
The formula is a simple one: First, discover the Source and then get as close to that Source as one can. Concentrate upon and discern what one really needs or wants. Develop the skills and disciplines in order to execute the steps necessary to attain that goal. Don't be distracted by what the 'crowd' is doing. Get off one's perch (or butt) and actually take to the air- in other words, practice, practice, practice. And never take your eyes off of the goal.
Such discipline does not come easily nor does it happen overnight. But it can be developed and must be developed if one is really interested in attaining any sort of spiritual or magickal 'success'. Every week or so, a few- a very few- laughing gulls leave the herd and begin to emulate the 'different' ones. They aren't all that good at it at first, but they do learn- and they don't seem to ever go back to the frenzied chaotic activities of the as-yet-unenlightened.
More and more Pagans of late are finding their Source- whether they call it God/Goddess or the Universe or The Ancestors or the One- and are drawing close to and from that Source. And from that eternal Source, they are learning what skills and disciplines are needed in order that they might continue to grow and mature and become wise on their spiritual journey. They remain focused and are no longer running after every new Pagan-flavored fad that comes along-and they are practicing their Craft with more and more success. Pagans are indeed learning how to fly.
And there is coming a day when all of the world shall look upon these people- these Pagans who possess such elegance, such dedicated discipline and such soaring beauty in their ways- with awe and wonder. And then maybe some of them will also want to learn how to fly.
Walk in Love and Light,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Seagull Shots: ... These Shots were captured this very morning during part of Wren's daily ritual of feeding the countless critters that grace us with their presence. NOTE: The Seagulls are are a new addition to the daily feeding. (photos by Fritz Jung)
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