Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Under One’s Wing

Today I got a sacred, magical glimpse of what it means to take someone “under one’s wing,” and many small peeks at what it feels like to trust fully in that protective care. 

When I took my daily #FuckCOVID19 to visit my goose friend of almost a month (see my post of 4/21), their nest looked different; there was downy fluff around the goose. Suddenly, the wind blew the goose’s wing feathers up, and I saw tiny yellow-brown fuzz balls quite literally being housed “under wing.” So I hung out with my goose friend a while—and witnessed newborn goslings popping up, always still surrounded by warm comfort. They seemed so unafraid; so curious about their new world; so glad to be living communally with their fellow peeps. So likely able to venture forth confidently (tomorrow!) into learning, playing, growing, and thriving together because they are so securely under someone’s wing—under care. 

Unlike most of us. The pandemic cracked open the collective trauma globally of what it means to be under-cared-for humans. We so want to spread our wings after two-plus years, yet we’re neither post-pandemic nor post-trauma. Many of us are like the fragile, tender, broken shards of the goslings’ eggshells left behind, much as we wish or pretend otherwise. Without a wide wing span of collective care—so missing for so many of us during these pandemic times—it’s hard to find our bearings again, to know who or what to trust, and thus harder still to learn, play, grow, and thrive together, and even harder not to simply peck away at each other, even if unintentional, or ourselves. 

I want to take many, many people under my wing and let them do the same for me, in reciprocal protection and care. Yet watching my goose friend and their goslings, I’m painfully aware of how much, in comparison, our expansive “under one’s wing” tenderness and generosity of spirit have been beaten down by the collective hurt too many of us have experienced. We’ve been made to fly solo. And that’s no way to soar. 

Perhaps we all need to be goslings for a bit, with and for each other, born anew, warm and fuzzy and fearless.

(photos: my goose friend and babies on stolen Anishinaabe lands)


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This entry was posted on April 26, 2022 by in Uncategorized.
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