Flexing Your Wings: Fledglings Take Flight

If you have followed my newsletters or the Soulful Spring Guide, you may have explored nesting as a metaphor for safety, support, and sanctuary.

Nature now tells us that it may be time to fledge the nest.

During the past couple of weeks, I have seen the baby bluebirds in our backyard fledge the safety of their nest. I literally saw them fly out of the bluebird house for their first flight.

This is a rare thing to see. A clue that birds may be fledging soon are observing them peek out of their nesting cavity. They may spend several hours peeking out of the hole in the nest box — with curiosity, wonderment, and fear — before taking flight.

About a week later, Carolina Wrens who were nesting in a roost house on our deck fledged. We were able to witness them getting fed and as they grew, peeking out of their nest with wonderment.

These fledgling birds are courageous…trusting their instincts, trusting that they have the strength to take flight, and trusting that the support they need will be there when they spread their wings.

Feathers found in or near our backyard.

When we humans think about “leaving our nest,” we usually associate that with leaving our family of origin to go off to college, a new job, or whatever life has in store for us at the time. But in actuality, I believe we are “fledglings” many times throughout our life span. . . . anytime you try something new, take a risk, or start a new phase in life.

This “taking flight” may be a change in our external circumstances – getting married, moving, starting school or a new job, starting a new creative venture, or having a child. Or, our fledgling selves may be born of something internal such as newfound wisdom or spiritual searching and growth.

We often begin again, and again, and again.

Regardless of what brings us to a fledgling time in life, we may feel excited, curious, fearful, courageous, or resistant.  These feelings should be expected and fully embraced.

Are you at a fledgling time in your life? If so, it may be helpful to explore these questions with a trusted friend, in a journal, or through artistic expression:

  • What is piquing your curiosity right now? What change may be stirring?
  • Are you in a phase of transition?
  • What support will be there for you when you are ready to “fledge”? What support do you need to seek?
  • Do you trust that you have the inner and outer resources you need to flex your wings?
  • What makes it difficult to trust?
  • How can you offer gentleness and patience to yourself as you flex your wings?
Carolina Wrens just a few days before fledging the nest.