To a Young Magician

Regarding those dreams of flight.

black and yellow bees on white flowers

I know you all want wings but try this. Reach only one arm up and keep the other here, palm flat in the soil, feeling what moves. Here’s the cup, the instrument, the elements. Here is the snake at your waist, tail in its mouth. Is the magic real yet? 

Look, the buds are opening to meet the bees. Watch these visitors fly to their welcome. Let them move you to remember. In all your dreams of flying, to whom did you ever return? It was always up, up! and out, away! without a passing glance back to the buds or the roots, or even the open windows.

You missed the treefrogs waiting among the fern leaves thick with eggs waiting to drop, and the octopus hiding in a coconut. You never gave a thought to the white-throated dippers on the rocks perched to dive, or the stag stopped in a snowstorm, looking back. You missed the burrowing mole and the sloth crossing the road after the flood.

I’ll fly away, you kept singing, your focus ever on what you flew from and the relief of oblivion by altitude. Is it really any wonder that someone had the insight to deny your constant request?


Partially inspired by these images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

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