about writing and life and God

On eagle’s wings

on June 12, 2015

Once upon a time, a long time ago, my sister and I were visiting our cousin’s grandfather at his home in Langwell, where he was head gardener to the Duke of Portland. The gardens were a magical oasis of lily ponds and smooth green lawns behind high hedges keeping out the winds and the cold.

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One day he took us for a walk out into the wilderness that lurked outside the gardens. There he pointed to the sky above a jagged mountain peak. ‘Can you see the golden eagle?’ he asked.

There was an eyrie up there, maybe even baby birds, readying for the big adventure of flight, soaring high above the countryside – wild and tame.

It’s been a while since I ventured out of my nest. Three years almost since I saw my sister. Considerably longer since I did that long solo drive to the north. Eight years since my husband was diagnosed with dementia and my life snapped shut like a trap.

I’ve thought about going away, having a holiday, a break, more than once. Looked at maps. Calculated mileages and times. And then put my maps and guidebooks away.

It is said that parent eagles have to encourage their young to leave their nest. They stir up the nest and drive the timid ones to the edge, beating with their huge wings till they’re tipped over. Scary but essential. The young ones would die of starvation if they tried to stay in the nest for ever.

The parent birds keep careful watch, ready to swoop and grasp a tumbling youngster who hasn’t worked out how to use his wings.

Deuteronomy 32: 11 says: ‘As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He [God] spread abroad His wings and He took them, He bore them on His pinions. So the Lord alone led him.’

And that’s what I’m feeling as my time to leave my nest approaches. God has led me thus far, He’s beating His wings and saying it’s time to make a move. But don’t worry. He’ll be there to catch me should I panic and forget how to do this.

If you’re feeling it’s time for you to leave somewhere that’s become comfortable but is now wrong for you, then maybe that’s what He’s saying to you too. Yes, it’s scary. But essential.

And He is completely trustworthy.


One response to “On eagle’s wings

  1. Marion says:

    That’s one of my ‘purple passages’ too Dorothy, especially at the moment. Praying for you.

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