Two weeks ago, I left my “day job” and all of its income and security to focus more fully on my passion for coaching, helping other, and building teams that can make bigger promises and deliver results of value to their customers. Friends and family have been mostly supportive, but comment on how scary or risky that move was. Maybe. I know that it’s the right move for me, and after spending about half an hour with a tree at The Nature Place in Colorado, here is what she had to say to me:
I am a tree. I do not struggle to reconnect with the ground, for it is always connected to me, and if ever that were not the case, I would cease to be. Nor do I struggle in my efforts to be seen, to grow, to bring forth my life into the world. Growing ever larger, stronger, and more powerful is my nature, and in so doing I contribute to the life of everything around me.
There may be times when I grow more, and times when I grow less, but even in the cold, dark, dormancy of winter, I remain connected to the ground, ready, waiting, silent and still, yet remaining true to my purpose of life. When the conditions are right, I will awake. While they are not, I will be still and focused.
But you, young sparrow, have flown from branch to branch, from tree to tree, from hillside to mountain to rocky crag, always sure that you had a purpose, but not heading the call of what that is and what it holds for you. You have known the wind as your friend and played with it when present, but have yet to fully extend your wings and see that you can fly to great heights on you OWN power.
You have feared that to fly too high would put you too far from the ground that supports you, when nothing could be further from the truth. The ground is always available to you, and the higher that you fly, the more ground that comes within your view. The farther you see, the more possibilities open up for you on where to land — for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. Your home will always be on the ground, but your life and destiny are to be in the sky.
Look at my branches, reaching in all directions, each one offering a gift of shade, of food, of berries, of shelter or support to you. Look at my bark, offering a home to the smallest of creatures that climb up my trunk. We are sisters, you and I. And while you take shelter in my strength and stability, I take delight in your power and flight.
Listen to the wind… Do you hear it? No, you do not. Instead, what you hear is the sound of me and my brothers as the wind flows through our branches. That is the sound of two worlds joining together; the threshold between the world of the earth and the world of the sky.
My dearest sparrow, you must fly. Not just physically, but metaphorically, for only you can reach the heights of your destiny, to live your life of freedom, of purpose, of certainty, of care, of love, of delight, of power, of brilliance, of leadership, of discernment, and of LIFE.
Only then can you return to my branches and share with me your stories. Only then can you return to the other creatures of the earth and tell them of the beauty of far away lands. Only then can you inspire and lead others to begin their journey of greatness, whatever that may be. You can chirp of your dreams as loud as your lungs will allow, but it is only when others see you in flight that they are inspired to reach for their dreams as well.
And so, young sparrow, take flight not of fancy, but of purpose – your purpose – a flight of greatness so that you may return and show others their way. My branches will be here upon your return, and you can tell me great tales of where you have been, and of renewed purpose for where you will go next. But fly you must. The tallest of my branches is but the ground from which you launch. Go forth into the sky and experience the world as yet unknown to you. Go. Go. Go in peace, and love.