Living Well: Fly Like an Eagle

Verna Isbister


Living Well: Fly Like an Eagle

by Verna Isbister

As I was looking out our front window at the roiling ocean, horizontal snow and wind, I wondered to myself, “How am I going to make it through the winter months ahead?” “How can I find hope in the on-going storms of climate, covid and inner disquietude?”

It was a dismal day but then I saw an eagle flying into view. It battled the blustering winds. Its soaring, outstretched wings were being buffeted by the Qualicum gale and I thought how often nature speaks into my wonderings. It occurred to me that eagles fly the best when the air currents and updrafts allow them to spread their wings and soar. It’s in the storms that they can really fly and seem to enjoy what they were created to be. They are unflappable.

Eagles can flap their wings but according to Jon M. Gierrard and Gary Bortolotti, “Eagles are capable of sustained flapping flight but they usually spend little time doing it.” Soaring uses the least amount of energy.

These days, it seems that many of us are spending time flapping our wings. When a person is described as flappable they look stressed, confused, worried and nervous. I’d much prefer to soar through the winds of winter.

So can I gain some wisdom from watching the eagles? The poet Mary Oliver poses the same kind of question in her poem, The Vulture’s Wings:

I keep

looking I

keep wondering

standing so

far below

these high

floating birds

could this

as most

things do

be offering

something for

us to

think about


An ancient Jewish writer used the metaphor of an eagle to inspire, “They shall rise up on wings of eagles” to describe a people who are weary, fainting and tired of waiting.

In this New Year before us, I invite you to find inspiration in something that speaks to you in nature. Then like the eagle may you lift off and soar above your worries and fears.