How Exquisite is Flying?

Buzzard Spirit was a tidy, prim and certain little spirit, compact and capable, who tidied up and cleaned up around and around, sharp eyes focused on the ground around.

 Always cleaning, straightening up, tidying … “neatening” up … peering to the ground to see that not so much as a leaf be out of place …

 … and yearning.

 Buzzard Spirit felt Earth solid underfoot and tramped in resolute measure across the Land, warm and soft … and hungered sadly … for all was tidy everywhere around and Yes, the land was warm and soft and there was … something … something … in an expanse ungraspable … unseen and yet it was there … known even if never present.

 … and everything else, including what was happy and grand, was …

 Not It.

 ”How can everything be “Not It,” and “It” be yet unknown?” puzzled Buzzard Spirit … and happily tidied and cleaned up, knowing this to be Great Spirit’s wish for such a one, and all along and mixed among the gladness of known-calling-done-well was the soft ache for an unseen expanse, an unrealized “above” that stretched away in weightless freedom …

 “How … What … could that be?” … eyes to the Earth, puzzle upon question, “… so there and clear but only by absence!?”

and Buzzard Spirit caught sight of an angel in flight one luminous evening ere the quiet of Night

AAHH!! With heart having leapt and yet pounding Buzzard Spirit sought Great Spirit …

Great Spirit … would that I could fly as an angel! … What price?”

Great Spirit opened the Sky to Buzzard at that very moment and Buzzard Spirit soared on great broad wings so made from Sky that the tips of their feathers could tease and ride the breath of Butterfly …

and Buzzard Spirit soared effortlessly and ecstatically across the Sky, along the windy rivers and rising when they turned up toward the sun, spiraling higher and higher, afloat on the Sky.

Like that?” called Great Spirit?

Yes!! YES, Great Spirit …!! Just so!!! … What price, Great Spirit??”

Thinking on the vast gift, Great Spirit thought to test Buzzard’s resolve.

Buzzard … your broad wings of Sky shall be black, and you as well … but your neck and face, Buzzard … shall be nearly crimson, wrinkled and sagging and what “hideous” shall come to mean, Buzzard, and you shall yet make Our Earth clean and neat but now you shall clean her by what you eat.

You shall eat what has fallen, Buzzard Spirit.  What Death has claimed and set all Spirit free … what Lion Spirit has taken and left … what Hyena Spirit has found among the flies and maggots and has left … that, Buzzard Spirit … shall you eat all your days.

except when you sail from your rest, stretching your black wings of Sky to float around and aloft on the rising shimmer of the heated Earth, wheeling on the buoyancy of my Spirit with yours into the Sky I have given you, to turn on the Autumn winds and Spring, to soar along Southward and North across the mountains above all the Autumns and Springs in the Great Migrations …

is the price, Buzzard Spirit …

That is the price for the Sky, Buzzard … and you shall be called “Vulture.”

Looking over, Great Spirit was prepared to await the answer, certain the price would focus profound consideration as to the terms.

I’ll take it.” … before Great Spirit’s words were faded from the ear.

and Buzzard stood eagerly and came to inhabit “Vulture,” and to this day does rip and tear the tainted and fetid carrion from among the flies and maggots … wrinkled crimson, hideous face glistening with the putrescence … to look to the Sky’s embrace on broad wings and rise there within Great Spirit’s love and power and grace and soar … and soar … and soar …

and that … is “How Exquisite is Flying …”




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