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Decades ago when I was growing up, one of my favorite stories was The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings. As children can sometimes be dissatisfied with themselves, this was an illustration of how a fantasy crashes into a reality in an easily understood story. Little Rabbit was unhappy with herself. When she saw a squirrel with a long bushy tail, she wanted that instead of her pretty puffy bunny one. When she saw a duck she wanted its broad webbed feet instead of her own.
After listening to endless fantasy wishes, Little Rabbit’s Mother sent her to wise old Mr. Groundhog who listened carefully, then suggested Little Rabbit visit the magic pond way in the woods. Hop three times and make a wish he told her. Well, in the midst of her hops, Little Rabbit looked up and, seeing a red bird, wished for red bird wings.
Overjoyed when red wings sprouted from her shoulders, Little Rabbit climbed to the top of a nearby hill and jumped off to fly with her new wings. Oo-o-ops! Bird wings don’t work for rabbits, so she crashed into a prickle bush. After picking free of the painful thorns, Little Rabbit went back to Mr. Groundhog for help. Went back to the magic pond and wished the fantasy wings away so she could enjoy being a real Little Rabbit again. Wouldn’t it be nice if mistakes could be as easily erased?
Years later, as an adult, I had the opportunity to find out what it would be like to soar like a bird without actually wishing to be one. On a trip to Brazil, we saw some people hang gliding from the nearby mountain down to the beach.
Learning that one of them had a double glider who would sometimes take another along, we found him, and after a short conversation (minimal, as he spoke Portuguese & I didn’t) he agreed to take me, driving up the steep winding road in his old Volkswagen Bug to the platform mid-mountain. Both of us buckled into our safety harnesses, strapped on small safety helmets. “One, two, three, we go,” my glider guy calmly stated before we stepped off into the air, thermals catching the glider wings to soar even higher.
People on the beach below looked like ants dotted around. What was it like, being like a bird? So quiet, peaceful, spending about 45 minutes aloft until landing perfectly on the beach. Instead of a fantasy like Little Rabbit who wanted to grow wings, ultimately crashing into an impossible reality, I had reality and adventure wanting to experience what it could be like to soar like a bird, while not actually trying to be one. Seems like common sense, doesn’t it? In the confusion that seems to be swirling around many places in our world these days, might more common sense be welcome? Many of us might be able to work together to achieve this.
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