Shell begins cracking as from inside she scratches,

it’s time to get out and that egg finally hatches.

Free and damp with the shell shaken off,

she’s fresh and hungry! Where is that feed trough?

This world seems more beautiful than e’er she knew,

that big yellow ball illumes the kindest of blue.

That beautiful ball, it pierces her eyes.

Where is her shield? Where is her guide?

She remains unsure, but their return can be trusted.

Here comes her guide! “Get going”; she’s ousted.

She goes, and unwittingly loses some wonder.

No comfort, no safety – she fears she may blunder.

Up out of the nest she know she must go,

so early her heart learns to put on a show.

Wonder now lost whilst she move about.

But hearts must be tough; hearts must be stout.

Familiar words, not hers, do echo about:

“stern love”, they say, “it is the best route.”

Get out, go fly, you’re fine, move on

find food, do better, stop singing that song.

Strength sets in and it doesn’t give out,

but this well is finite – soon she’ll find out.

She receives approval of her strength upsizing,

and bigger, indeed, she finds her chest rising

Years pass along with wonder neglected,

but challenge stays steady, other voices deflected.

Reverberations of virtues other than “tough”

rear up in her heart, but she silences: “enough!”

Joy and kindness and laughter at length,

buried beneath more challenge and strength.

Obligation-driven, the responsible one,

it seems that her work is just never quite done.

She’s praised for so much, yet life-less inside.

When the core is this empty, can three things abide?

“The air’s thin above”, that’s what she was told.

“No good birds fly up there” say voices of old.

From the longings inside bubble questions again.

This time she speaks “welcome”; this time she stays sane.

In search of whole life the bird flies away;

casting shadows beneath her, she fears she may stray.

Up here it is said, she will meet her demise.

What she finds is far different, much to her surprise.

The wind in her wings, her chest fills with care,

it all feels so fresh way up in this air.

Freedom, she tastes, from that unnatural grind,

still fearing perception of birds left behind.

But she flips and she swoops and, oh, what delight!

Onward! After all, she’s a bird in flight!

The gales gust and the wind gives blast,

and those three things find their place, at last.

So faith, and hope, and love this brings,

this striking cadence flows from air under wings.

There’ll still be pain, and yes, still strife,

but this joyful view may give old strength new life.

Grateful for hope that cannot be undone,

new faith awaits under that big, hot sun.

Home she returns and so filled with love,

copiously embodying Life from above.

Challenge has its place,

it can serve for good.

But without inspiration,

it’s oft’ misunderstood.

Kimberly Pelletier
Kimberly believes our power to love the marginalized comes through learning to love the margins of our own soul. She speaks, writes, and is a spiritual director to this end: helping other connect to and experience the Love of God for themselves. Through her own story of stillbirth, trauma, crushing disappointments, and chronic illness she has come to know all of life has invitation to transformation. She has written for Christianity Today, smallgroups.com, Loyola Press, Herald Press, The Redbud Post, and The Mudroom. You can find her writing, inquire about spiritual direction, or ask her to speak at kimberlypenrodpelletier.com. Find her on IG: @kimberlypenrodpelletier or Facebook: facebook.com/kimberlypenrodpelletier.com
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