Turak was a wise old bird.
Some say he was older and wiser than all of the other birds put together.
Young birds of the flock loved to come and listen to his stories.
He was a natural teacher.
The stories always followed the same theme, but each time a new lesson could be learned.Afterwards the young birds would have great fun discussing the latest tale and squabbling together to be the first to understand its meaning.Turak's species were nearly always born with no wings.
These grew as the young birds grew.
In fact throughout their lives, they never stopped growing.
As Turak journeyed about his land he never stopped marvelling at the different ways his flock lived together.There were so many birds in the flock that there never was much space to make a home. When two young birds found each other their space was just enough for them.
Turak noticed the effect as paired birds began to grow wings.
The space they had together was comfortable, but only if both birds shared it unselfishly.Their wings grew at different rates;and so it was that the wings of one bird would often overshadow their partner.
Much of the time as each bird became preoccupied with preening their growing wings, they each did not realise how their movements made their living space so uncomfortable for 'both' of them.
They would take turns to find food and if one bird helped the other, its wings would be helped to grow faster.
As time passed, wings matured.
It was not unusual to see how a foolish bird tried to fly too soon and fell in a heap.
Its anger and frustrations were often directed to its mate.
You would think when each pair of birds were fully fledged that everything would be OK. Not so!
Turak would see how two birds, both with fine wings, flapped to take flight together and just knocked each other to the ground again.
Or how one of the paired birds who had not looked after their wings properly, would be left lonely on the ground with stunted feathers, as the other bird blundered about in hopeless flight.
So rarely, Turak would notice two birds working in harmony to help each other into the air and back to ground again.
These birds always flew in joint adventure to gain experience in the air together.
Turak knew of a distant colony where old and ancient birds lived.
'They'also had partners; but every bird flew its own flightpath,and returned to roost with their partner to share the tales of their experience.
Turak had been a young bird once upon a time...
He remembered how he had wasted many years trying to find a mate.
Turak learned to fly early; or so he thought.
He would make short hopping flights and as he spotted a potential mate, he would end up just crashing into her and overwhelming her. He always seemed to frighten them away.The trouble was, he believed he had fully learned the joys of flight and just wanted to pass that experience on to a partner.
One day a strong wind caught Turak as he performed a hopping flight between two hills...The wind lifted him high into the sky. Higher than he thought possible.
He was sure he was going to die.
As the clouds thinned he was shocked to see dozens of magnificent birds effortlessly soaring around him.
One bird flew close to him and asked him what he thought he was doing.
Turak replied weakly, 'I'm just flying.'...The other bird, who was holding distance alongside told Turak to have a good look at his wings.
Turak finally looked and realized in shame and horror, that next to these fine birds, his were stunted.
Turak plummeted towards the ground and lost consciousness on the way.
He opened his eyes to see a young beautiful bird mopping his brow.
She said, 'I saw you try to get across from that hill over there. You didn't quite make it!'.
Turak saw the wings of this bird were just the same size as his.
At last he knew and understood it was time for him to share his growth with a partner on equal terms. Then one day.....one day.....he and his partner would soar high above the world together, in perfect flying unison.
Journey to Enlightenment
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Turak was a wise old bird.
Posted by Richard Gabriel at 9:51 am
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