Tuesday, August 30, 2011

mom knows best

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In this misty, nippy dawn, the birds are doing their wake-up chirping -- calling, defining, warning, wooing ... gearing up for a new day. Many of them were fledglings a few scant months ago, with mom nudging them out of the nest and into an uncertain sky. Who, when nesting, could credit a sky that has no nest, no edges, no safety? Flying?! -- you're insane!

But mom knows best.

And mom is not just the bringer of the grubs and worms of life ... mom is life and life is insistent. The warming wing beneath which fledglings were safe and could not imagine a life that was not safe is not yet their very own wing. Peeking out from the comforting confines of the nest, the great out-there, the out-there that has no edges or end, looks so dangerous. It looks like death. A place without edges would take my edges and I would evaporate.

But mom knows best and life is insistent.

In the course of things, fledglings leave the nest and create nests of their own. New nests, new safeties, new definitions, new warmth ... and yet never quite as convincing as that first nest, never quite as complete, never quite as with-all-your-soul credible and at peace. Mom knows best, but what once was a fledgling has become the mom ... and moms know best that nests are not forever, that they pose a danger to the edgelessness and restfulness of the wind.

An old Zen teacher once observed, "A day without work is a day without eating." A day without the wind is a day of careless imagining. Where is the demarcation between nest and sky? Or between fledgling and mom? Seriously, where is it? Is the nest the sky or the sky the nest? Is the fledgling the mom or the mom the fledgling? To say yes or no is to nest among thorns. But moms know where the well-shaped twigs and grasses are soft and fledglings can close their eyes in safety.

Moms know best.

Listen to mom.
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