I was sat cross-legged in the living room, in front of the glass door, watching them scratch and peck around in the garden. I must’ve been there for ten minutes before they noticed me and approached the door. One of the chickens in particular was quite bold. As I tapped the window and drew shapes with my finger, he came closer. After a minute of watching me and following my finger, he pecked at the window and froze. I laughed and stayed there, watching the chickens be chickens, for another five minutes.
These chickens have a good life. They have a lot of space. They have tyres and branches and other things to climb on. They can see the sky above them. But although their life is good, they can’t fly. They’re birds which can’t spread their wings and rise up into the clouds. And they can’t do that because their wings have been clipped.
This got me thinking about my life. What is clipping my wings? What is holding me down, forcing me to scratch at the ground, instead of flying high?
An attachment to ease and comfort? Things that I think I need and tell myself that I depend on, that I can’t do without? It could be a fear of the unfamiliar, or of humiliation and defeat. It could just be the power of precedent; I’ve always done things like this and been this way. It could be the anxiety I feel in the face of uncertainty. It could be an overwhelming sense of self-consciousness. A desire to appear a certain way to certain people. It could be a consequence of the social circles I move in, the media I consume, or the ideas I absorbed as I grew up.
It could be any combination of the above things. But there is one thing that is most definitely not clipping my wings: knowledge. A bird doesn’t need lectures on how to fly. It just knows. In a similar way, we human beings know how to soar. We know how to be creative, how to strive boldly, how to overcome, how to change, how to grow, how to challenge, how to question, how to hunt and discover and explore. But we allow our wings to be clipped by the world around us, and by our own psychology.