On Being a Bird

“The most important of all creatures are the winged. For they are the nearest to the Heavens and are not bound to the Earth. As are the four-legged or little crawling people…they see everything that happens on the Earth.” – Black Elk

Sometimes I imagine I’m a bird.

I always start my flight soaring over snow-capped mountains, then diving down toward roaring rivers and emerald green forests. I continue my imaginary flight through not-so barren deserts, and eventually, over oceans until I only have miles of blue above and below me. I continue to flight into the night, when I glide underneath twinkling stars.

I keep flying.

Over the plains and fields until I reach suburbs and cities. I look down. I see children playing at the park…and black teens getting shot in the street. As I stop to rest on windowsills, I see families gathered around tables eating dinner…and I see men hitting their wives. I fly past hospital windows and see babies being born…then over cemeteries, I watch parents burying their child.

I feel love and hate, joy and sadness, anger and peace. How could a world so beautiful be so ugly? And how could so much love exist with so much pain?

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