By Big Idea Facilitator Yvonne DiVita
I dreamed I was an eagle in flight...soaring above the world without a care. I dreamed I flew through clouds and mist, and never closed my eyes. I dreamed I landed on the edge of nothing, and... paused; paused because my eagle eyes could see nothing but black, darkness below, with a clear white, shining light above.
I felt the nothingness. It called out to me, from below my talons, as I clutched my perch with strong determination.
Above, the clouds and sun and warmth were silent. They neither called to me nor beckoned, in any way. I looked up and breathed in the clear, sparkling air. I saw shadows in the clouds, of other eagles flying. I wondered if I should call out to them. I wondered if they would perch here, with me, or somewhere in the distant cloudscape, and feel the vast emptiness below.
"The edge of nothing," I thought. Or is it? How can there ever be nothing? Even nothing is something.
But, I am no philosopher, regardless of my dabbles in these thoughts. I am just a bird going about her business.
For a moment, I let the wind buffet me to and fro, and contemplated my next flight.
I could go down into the nothingness that was probably something. I could explore the deep dark shadows below, and discover why they blocked the sunlight. Perhaps I would learn something useful for my fellow birds. Perhaps I would fly eagerly back to my perch, and call to the passing shadows above, to let them know the wonders...or not...of life below.
A part of me wondered why the pull to dive below was so strong. What could possibly be in that deep black darkness, like a blob of ink on a bit of plain white paper, that could be of interest, or of use? Why should I be the one to get lost in that tunnel of nothingness? What if I couldn't get back?
I dreamed I was an eagle in flight. And, I knew the path I needed to take. I knew the rain would stop, I knew the sun would shine, I knew my goal was ahead, not behind. I had a sense of purpose - something inside that was bigger than me!
But, I grew tired. I felt a need to pause. I found an edge. A building with strong footholds for my talons, despite its clear decline. The building was aged. The building was crumbling. The foothold was still there, for birds to use, for someone like me to land on, for a bit of rest and safety. But, the building was not strong. The building was slowly toppling over...into nothingness.
I saw the nothingness below. It felt familiar. It called my name. It whispered long sentences I heard, but could not remember just a few seconds later. It sent familiar smells and images to me - of times when I was a child. Of times when I was just learning to fly. Of times I fell to the ground and struggled to get up.
"I have no use of you," I told it. I prepared to leap into the clouds once again. To join my fellow eagles as they glided like golden arrows through the misty clouds.
Stay, it called. Please! For just a moment. We have memories for you.
I held my place. I did not answer. But, I listened.
Remember this, it said, and revealed a day of strife and anger. This is who you are, it said, gloatingly. You need to return. We want to have you back.
"I am not that creature any longer," it said. "I will not go back."
But you must, the darkness screamed at me. You did this - a horror I still shed tears over when I remember - and you did this - another day I lost control of self and did dark angry things - and this is who you are. So you must return. If you fly off, it said, you merely fly into failure.
The day was passing me by. Time was not on my side. As I leaned over on that building, it slipped an inch into the ground. It shuddered with cries of despair, sending dust over me and into the nothingness below.
I wondered if the building would collapse while I clutched so desperately to it - collapse and throw me back into the nothingness of a dark world, with no end. Is that my fate? I wondered.
The clouds above parted, and sunlight shone through. I saw another eagle fly by. And another. A third looked down and sent me a silent message. "You must come with us now, else, lose all that you have worked to become. Leave the nothingness. It has no power over you."
"Who are you?" I called to this bird. "How do you know what I must do next? I cannot give up the darkness yet. It brings me comfort, because it reminds me of who I am."
The eagle flew a circle over my head.
"It is not you," he said. I think it was a he. Who can tell? We eagles do not pay mind to gender. "You are alive with hope, and desire, and invitation. You are reborn and full of energy. The darkness will claim you for all time, if you allow it. Fly off. Leave your perch. Let the building collapse, without you."
Was he right? Was I a creature of warmth and light and hope?
I dreamed I was an eagle in flight. I soared among my kind and kept my keen eyes on the forest far ahead. "I will land there," I thought. "And make my plans for the future, among the strength of the trees, the green of the leaves, the warmth of the sun. Yes, that is what I will do."
And the darkness that called me below, bellowed in fierce anger.
But, it cannot claim me.
I am not of the dark. I am of the light. My never ending journey is not into darkness any longer.
Are you light? Do you dream of flying?
Fly. Into the light. With me.