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“But why can’t we fly?!”
“Because we just can’t, Ophelia. Stop complaining.” Her father looked upon Ophelia’s disappointment and softened. “It has something to do with our wings being too small and our bodies being too big…”
Ophelia looked up to the sky and witnessed birds swooshing and flapping and frolicking. She longingly whispered, “But I’m a bird too.”
Ophelia’s dad tried to console her in the same manner he was consoled as a young chick. “We aren’t built to fly. It’s just not what we do. We run!” he cheered.
Ophelia did not wish to run all her life, she longed to be free from heaviness and the limitations of land, she wished to take to the skies!
Deflated, she used her long legs to move her away from the birds singing overhead, towards a small cluster of wildflowers. She sighed with despair feeling neither here nor there. She considered what a living contradiction she was; she was a bird that could not fly! Even if she could, she was a bird that should not fly! On the ground she felt separated from the other birds but in the air she would feel separated from the other ostriches. She wilted thinking that she did not fit in on the ground and she wouldn’t fit in in the air either.
At the back of her thoughts was a buzz. She brought the flowers into focus again and saw a bee amongst them. She curiously watched as it busily tickled the face of a flower then tumbled through the air to the next, with its very small wings and very large body.
That’s when she gasped with awareness!
The simplicity of it all, she thought. This bee had things in common with her—its wings were too small for its body—and yet it flew. It didn’t sit and think how it could not and should not fly. It did not consider the limitations of its shape or how other insects flew. It took flight simply because that’s what it needed to do!
“Ophelia must fly!” is what she commanded.
From below Ophelia heard ostriches say, “I want to be like Ophelia!” “She’s absurd!” “How does she do it?” and yet she felt nothing but the wind in her feathers. From above she heard birds say, “What’s she doing here?” “How does she do it?” “What a sight!” and yet she felt nothing but the beat of her thrilled heart.
She was surprised that she did not feel hurt or isolation or shame. Those feelings did not seem to exist while she was doing what she really needed to do. What she did feel was joy and freedom and contentment. Never before was she so glad to be Ophelia.