By Janina Gomes
The mother eagle tried hard to induce the little one to leave the nest, but the baby was afraid. Suddenly, the mother rose well above him. “I held my breath, for I knew what was coming”, recounts Christabel Gladwell.
‘‘The little fellow stood on the edge of the nest, looking down at the plunge which he dared not take. There was a sharp cry from behind, which made him alert, tense as a watch-spring. The next instant the mother eagle had swooped, striking the nest at his feet, sending his support of twigs and himself with them and into the air.
‘‘He was afloat now, afloat on the blue air despite himself, and he flapped lustily for life. Over him, under him, beside him, hovered the mother on tireless wings, calling softly that she was there. But the awful fear of the depths and the lance tops of the spruces was upon the little one; his flapping grew wilder; he fell faster and faster.
Suddenly — more in fright than because he had lost his strength — he lost his balance and tipped head downward in the air. It was all over; he folded his wings to be dashed into pieces among the trees.
Then like a flash the mother eagle shot under him, his despairing feet touched her broad shoulders, between her wings. He righted himself, rested an instant, found his head; then she dropped like a shot from under him, leaving him to come down on his own wings.
“It was all the work of an instant before I lost them among the trees far below. And when I found them again with my glass, the eaglet was on top of a great pine, and the mother was feeding him”.
Christabel’s story of the mother eagle — first pushing her little one to fly, then protecting the eaglet till it righted itself and then once again leaving it free — could be very similar to the relationship we have to God and the way we live life.
Life has a way of challenging us and pushing us to the edge.