Be Your Own Birder

Empty Skies

The past nine months have been some of the most transformative of my life, a very dark time with focus not on soaring through endless vistas, but with grounding in heavy, immovable musts. Now that the last boxes have been packed and moved, the last legal paperwork signed, the final visits coordinated, and the concluding details attended to, I can look up to the skies once again. But what will I find?

Empty Sky - Photo by Kass Kozloski
Empty Sky – Photo by Kass Kozloski

The Flurry

The moments that change our lives the most never come about on an expected schedule or calendar. Rather, they fly at us like a diving osprey, talons poised for the kill before we even know we’re being targeted.

Diving Osprey - Photo by Goleta Slough
Diving Osprey – Photo by Goleta Slough

It doesn’t matter what else we may have planned, what special times we’d anticipated, or what other activities and commitments must be abandoned when suddenly we find ourselves plunged below the surface and drowning. These moments demand full attention and will settle for nothing less.

What can we do but be bowled over and begin the fight of our very lives? For weeks, I was juggling more than I’d ever imagined possible, making decisions that – despite having mentally considered options for years – I had never considered necessary. How does one make such decisions with no realistic alternative to accept, with no way to reverse course and undo what must be done? You simply have to spread your wings and hope the wind will lift you onto the right path with whatever energy you have left.

The Finality

Finally, you reach the end of a tumultuous journey. Last ends are tied off, bits of debris picked up to be discarded, and a bit of shuffling to readjust to a now-changed reality. You look around, at odds with yourself for the most massive change you could have imagined, yet dichotomously relieved that the dust is now settling.

Tornado Damage - U.S. Army Photo/John Daves
Tornado Damage – U.S. Army Photo/John Daves

Covered in that layer of dust you have to find yourself again, to sift through what is left of what was and make something new of it. Yet the more you sift, the more you find gaping holes of what was before and can never be again. Whatever you try to fill those holes with is not quite the same size or shape, and will always feel awkward and out of place.

The Empty

So, months later, I’m left with the emptiness. Holes unfilled, empty boxes, empty shelves, empty heart, a home torn apart in ways that can never now be repaired. I’m worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally as I never have been before. I have been drowning for so many months, clutched in those talons, but can finally breathe again.

Moments come and go in each day that would have been filled with what was past, but what is no longer. Today, those moments remain empty, detached from the story that was once playing but has now come to an abrupt end.

I can remember the story, but cannot reread it. We cannot go back to what once was, we cannot rewrite the past no matter how much we might wish it.

The Skies

The skies remain. For now, they’re still empty, as I have to learn to fly all over again in a changed reality. I’ve managed to free myself from those osprey talons, but the scars will never vanish. In time I hope they will fade and not be such a stark daily presence, causing limps and hitches in everyday activities, reminders of the upheavals of the past nine months and the continued uncertainty of the next months to come.

There will be more birds, in time. I hope you’ll bear with me as I gradually edge up productivity on this blog again, as I do intend to fly once more. There will be more giveaways, helpful articles, trivia, bird jokes, and much more that I hope to add, as well as an increased presence on social media with Instagram and Facebook.

Swallow-Tailed Kite Silhouette - Photo by cuatrok77
Swallow-Tailed Kite Silhouette – Photo by cuatrok77

Where I will fly, how hard my wings will beat, what migrations I may make are, for now, all up for interpretation, but finally, I can take flight along my own path in a way I never have before.

Let’s fly.

3 thoughts on “Empty Skies

  1. Janice Steel

    I can’t tell you how much this post has meant to me. I to have felt the Osprey’s clutch. I know you will find a way back and perhaps to bigger and better things. In the meantime know that I am thinking of you and wishing you nothing but good things.

  2. Shelly Mathie Mathie

    I feel this deeply! I have been in the Osprey’s clutch many times in my life as well. The good news is that we are remarkably resilient and with time, you will not only fly again, but soar! These experiences change us forever and the growth we eventually experience can be life-changing in the best way! Hugs to you! Be patiend with yourself as you traverse new ground!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from Be Your Own Birder

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading