Leaving the Nest

By Shawna Ervin

I stand here, my toes dangling off the edge and I cringe. I cringe into the breeze, feel myself sway into its promises, then stand on my own again. I back away. Dare I leap? Dare I even lean?

In the nest I’m alone, huddled and scared. I’ve been abandoned. Again. Did I wait too long? Should I have leapt long ago? If I jump will anyone be at the bottom for me? Do I need them? I’m not sure. I only know alone is not where I want to be.

I creep to the edge again, look down, up, then out. I close my eyes, let the breeze hold me, find it stronger than I knew. I give in and give up my strength and my need to the wind. I feel the tears slip down my cheeks and don’t bother to wipe them away. I let the wind gently take them, take my needs and wants, and all I think isn’t mine. I let it move me. I feel a bit of lift as I stretch out my arms.

I begin to trust this wind, this breeze I can’t see. I don’t bother to explain, to write it down, or understand. I keep my eyes closed, turn around with my feet secure on the edge. I look into the nest, the place I’ve nestled snug in shame and loneliness. I feel the pull of familiar, then lean. I lean gently, gently back not strong enough to make the leap. I lean slowly, slowly until I am not leaning but falling. I close my eyes. I turn over as if I’ve always known how to fly, stretch my arms wide. The wind quickens; freedom and hope rush past my fingertips against my open palms.

I open my eyes, see the brightness of the sun, feel its warmth on my face and I smile. Then, all at once I land softly, gently into the only arms strong enough to catch me. They are mine.

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