Writers Write

Flying Lessons

It was driving me crazy. I couldn’t get the song out of my head. I didn’t know the title or the artist, but the melody was relentless.  After three days, I googled the words I could remember. The song I kept singing was by Dan Fogelberg, A Part of the Plan.

Love when you can. Cry when you have to. Be who you must. That’s a part of the plan. Await your arrival with simple survival, and one day we’ll all understand.

When I go to the park, I sit in the car and write. Then, I read a chapter in the Bible. On the outside chance that God will personify as Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, or George Burns, I check to see if He’s trying to tell me something.  I don’t push for any message in particular. I read at random.  

On the day I googled the song, I read Timothy, Chapter 3. It’s where Paul tells his friend Tim, “Watch out for cons, but trust in God. He saved me from the Lions.” Since I can count on the need to be saved from lions, I wondered if He was sending me a message. I identified with Tim, the perpetual baby brother of the apostles. 

I closed the book and got out to walk. The letter to Timothy made me think, and thinking made me rail at the Almighty. Okay, so if Bacon’s job thing doesn’t come through, it’s okay. Really. We’ll get by with enough for groceries and cheap tennis shoes. We won’t remodel the leaky shower or go to Disney World, but we’ll have necessities. I was agitated, but I wanted to believe in what I said. I hummed, “It’s a part of the plan. . .”

On cue, I heard squawking. A hawk flew overhead with three baby birds. One of the chicks stood on Mama’s back and flapped it’s wings. The other two glided just above her wing tips. It was a flying lesson. Mama flew from a branch of an ancient live oak. At the end of the ride, she deposited her children in the top of another tree.

Is that what I’m doing? Having a flying lesson? Riding on God’s back while I squawk to high heaven?  I stood slack jawed. Am I being protected from lions I can’t even see?  I didn’t see Whoopi, or Morgan, or George, but I heard the baby hawks squawking. In that moment, I understood how how Charlton Heston must have felt when he saw the burning bush. Okay, without the big baritone voice or the special instructions to rescue His chosen people, but it was a moment.

One day, I’ll understand.