In Cleveland, Ohio pelicans are rarely seen. Yet, I have been in awe of one particular pelican that took up residence at a lake near my home in Cleveland Heights. As long as I have lived here, this has been the first pelican to visit the Shaker Lakes. Moreover, for a pelican to come this far inland is quite remarkable. Each day since it arrived, I find myself walking through the woods around the lake and pausing, captivated by its elegance, strength and grace.
The pelican’s sudden appearance is an inspiration, a sign of courage and trust in its journey and in my own. I watch it glide through the water effortlessly even though it carries a massive weight. Although unfamiliar to its environment, it has already found a flow and space for itself among the waterfowl already present on the lake.
I observe how the pelican spreads its wings and stretches all the time. It pays little attention to the fact that it’s the only bird like itself on the lake. It moves in a natural and fluid movement without asking permission to swim that far and that fast. In its short-lived time on the lake, the pelican expresses itself no matter where it happens to be.
There is much that I can transform in my own life as I observe the wondrous journey of the pelican. I see the trust it has in changing course instead of flying directly south on the same path as always. It has shifted course, changed direction and has broken the typical pattern it has followed for years. Like the pelican, I see that I too can shift course, change direction and break with patterns. I can stretch in the direction I feel inspired without always stopping to check for approval. I can create my own slipstream that opens me to embrace all that is in my wake and propels me forward to follow my heart.
The pelican may stay for a few weeks, a month or a year-time doesn’t matter in this particular moment of its life. To the pelican, it’s just a tiny stopover, a momentary pause to enjoy the scenery and then let go and move on. I too, can live every moment of my life as a stopover, a juncture, an intersection on my soul’s journey that I enjoy for the moment and let go of into the next.