Flying Lessons

Flight Lesson – 11

1 048Once upon a time I flew with a snow goose.  When I was a little girl the snow goose would smooth the knots in my wild wings each night, and called me her Butterfly. I flitted and fluttered from thing to thing, switching crayons constantly, coloring outside the lines of life.  The snow goose didn’t mind.  She told me I could be anything I wanted to be.  The snow goose taught me how to fly.  She loved to flock. To migrate, to travel anywhere. Loved the cool air and calling out the colors of the sky with me honk, honk, honking alongside.  “The sky is cerulean blue today,” she would say.  I’d reply, “The sun shines like jaune brilliant.”  A common language of a painter’s palate was our common ground.  As different as two winged things could be, perched in the same family tree.  She was never so proud of me as she was the day I got my wings.  She said, “I’ll be the first to fly with you, I’m not afraid.”  Our first flight and our last flight together were in the winter, along the Gulf Coast to Venice. The snowbirds nest she knew the best  She loved low flying with me, hanging her head over the side, calling out everything she saw like a curious child.  Wondrous wonder still resided inside a snow goose born in 1929. Her smells of Joy perfume and apricot oil floated up from my floorboards as we flocked together.  Our last flight for the snow goose’s 80th Birthday was too short but too long.  Her wings were weak, her feathers grey.  It was cold and I gave her my jacket, gave her my lap blanket.  Searched for a temperature inversion, high and low. The snow goose was shivering and shrinking.  She was afraid of the cold.  The only thing I had left to give her was a song.  As we floated low in the currents, I gave the song back to her she had given to me for so long. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.  She looked up at me in the mirror and said, “Thank you for such a beautiful flight Butterfly, I believe I’m a snow goose today.”

Once upon a time I flew with a snow goose. The snow goose was my Mother.  A snow goose taught me how to fly.