The red-winged blackbirds started appearing in my neighborhood about a week ago. In the eleven years I have lived here I have never seen red-winged blackbirds near my home. Now they seem to follow me everywhere. The pair flies across the crossroads of intersections and alights from trees at the edge of the forest. The female looks ordinary and unassuming. She wears the colors of camouflage, like a cloak of decaying earth.
It was the male who appeared in my dream many months ago. Opening his wing of night to reveal the power of red blended with yellow, which he formed into a ball of flame and threw for me to catch.
And now he is here again, with me in physical form. Over the last two days, he has left me three broken wings. Not his own, but those of moths. Night butterflies. Remnants of a feast left behind.
The first wing appeared in the field where I will soon be teaching summer yoga classes. The hindwing of a Cecropia Silk Moth. I heard the song in my head written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney before I saw the blackbird.
Yesterday, a wing from the same moth appeared. A forewing banged up perhaps from traveling the fifty yards or so from the location where I found the hindwing. A little distance away, a nearly invisible white wing of what may have been a Fall Webworm lay like a fairy’s wing on the pavement.
Last night was a fitful night of sleep. The left side of my head was congested as though all the turmoiled thoughts in my mind had settled there to block rest.
“Blackbird fly into the light of the dark, dark night.” (lyrics from “Blackbird” by Lennon/McCartney)
We all have our broken wings. Life has a way of breaking them, and the breaks can deepen through past-life wounds we may not even remember. Wings that were, perhaps, meant to be broken so that we may find the true, free soul. The light in the dark, dark night.
I have realized, these last few days, that I have let myself stray from the path of the true self. I have allowed myself to be disempowered and voiceless at the expense of another’s ambitions that do not feel in alignment with my true self. The blackbird has appeared as a reminder of the strength of the soul aligned with Truth. He has left me the wings to fly into the Light.