Teaching Eaglets to Fly

One of the most inspiring sights in nature is the eagle in flight. With an endless expanse of blue behind it the eagle spreads its mighty wings and soars majestically and gracefully across the sky. Free, powerful, complete. Because of this the eagle becomes a symbol for how we’d like to be. We all want to soar like an eagle in life.

But I wonder if you know how it is an eagle learns to soar? I am told that there is a particular species of eagle which builds its nest high up on the face of a cliff overlooking the sea. In this nest the eagle chick is hatched and spends its first days watching its mother come and go, collecting food and bringing it back.

One day mum decides it’s time her chicks learned to fly. You know how she does it? She forces her way right into the nest and then pushes her chicks out. The chick starts plummeting down the cliff-face, terrified, shocked, heartbeat racing, aware that death is just seconds away. And then something amazing happens. The chick instinctively stretches the wings it never knew it had, the plummet becomes a fall, then a gentle rise. Soon the chick is soaring like its mother.

It’s in that split second of terrifying danger that the chick comes face to face with itself, and face to face with wider reality. In that terrifying moments the chick discovers what it is. And without that terrifying moment it will never learn to soar.

Source: Scott Higgins