“If I had wings no one would ask me should I fly The bird sings, no one asks why. I can see in myself wings as I feel them If you see something else, keep your thoughts to yourself, I’ll fly free then.”
This song immediately popped into mind at the thought of this week’s challenge theme. I sang it at Girl Scout camp in the 1970s and just now learned its origin. It was a Peter, Paul & Mary release written by Rev. Gary Davis. It brings back to mind my youthful yearning to discover my identity and live authentically. Flight – it’s about doing what you were made to do, lifting off and reaching the heights, soaring, gliding, traveling and lighting down with a changed perspective from your experience. Of course, it takes a long time to build up to Flight.
The pursuit of flight begins with the pursuit of basic needs. Imagine a caterpillar’s day, relentlessly munching on a single food source. Or a baby bird, all mouth and little patience, straining its spindly neck toward its parents. So many roadblocks can prohibit flight long before wings even appear: insufficient food, aggressive predators, absent care-givers, catastrophic accidents. It’s a miracle any living being ever takes off at all!
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“How can you ask if I’m happy going my way? You might as well ask a child at play! There’s no need to discuss or understand me I won’t ask of myself to become something else I’ll just be me!”
“After a ten-fold drop in the population of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last decade, a 2016 study predicted an 11%–57% probability that this population will go quasi-extinct over the next 20 years.” Wikipedia
Monarch butterflies used to be so plentiful. I would see them as a child living in the Midwest and study the way they emerge from their chrysalis in school. The Fall breeze was always full of milkweed seeds floating by. Their habitat was ubiquitous – all that open field land hosted several species of milkweed, the Butterfly Plant. When we moved to California where I went to High School, I would see Monarchs by the thousands at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz hanging in great clusters on the eucalyptus trees. Then I moved back to the Midwest and noticed how quickly all that open field land, the prairies, was being developed into shopping malls, parking lots and subdivisions. Here in Milwaukee, we had a Monarch Trail on the County Grounds where there was about 350 acres of open land. Then the city decided to put in a “research park” – meaning technical buildings and apartments – and reduced the Monarch habitat to 11 acres adjacent to the interstate that’s been under construction for 2 years…so far. Once a common insect, the Monarch Butterfly is becoming increasingly rare on the landscape. The life of this wonder includes the amazing feat of migration, which is also being threatened by climate change.
The age of Kings is just about over, as the modern world encroaches more and more on his kingdom. I found this one at George W. Mead State Wildlife Area during the weekend of Independence Day.
I wish you a long life and numerous progeny, Little Prince.