“Tag you’re it!” “I’m Safe!”
We have to retreat to places of safety sometimes - those nests that will envelope us in protection and nourishment. For some of us, it is home. For others, a favorite park or outdoor site. For others, a bottle and a dark bar. Judge what you want about escaping – but we all need it.
The baby bird has to stay in the nest to grow their wings, build up strength, and open their eyes in order to take flight and build a life of their own. The ship in from the sea has to find a place where it will not be damaged on a rocky shore or float off on its own without someone at the helm. The child at play has to have a fence in order to not run out into the street. We have to have that place of safety until it is time to take our risks.
We could live an adventurous life – constantly taking risks without a safety net. I’ll never forget watching a TV movie about the Flying Wallendas – a family circus act that performed on the high wire without a net. I had nightmares for years about the night in 1962 that they were doing the 7 person chair pyramid and fell off killing 1, paralyzing another and injuring the third person that fell.
But why should we do that? Can we look at life for what it is – a series of risks and opportunities for growth. There are times to take those risks and times to remain in safety. And to realize that each extreme offers us no growth and no rewards. We could never take risks and stay in our safe caves, away from anything that could possibly hurt us – but how can we find new ideas, new thoughts, new ways that we can enrich our lives? We could take risks constantly and inappropriately – never seeking safety, never having reflection on the value of those risks, and lose ourselves in a life with only the shallow highs and avoiding the deep growth of the lows.
As I went for a run the other day, a baby bird was dead on the sidewalk, having fallen from the nest above. I felt sad for that loss of life, but I was touched by the value of safety and the strong need for it to be a part of our lives.