Of eagles and phoenixes

I was planning to continue the theme of late blooming and take inspiration from the life cycle of an eagle. You must have seen that presentation about the eagle being able to live up to 70 years but to do so it must make a difficult decision at 40, die or go through a painful 150 day process.

If it chooses the latter it will fly to its mountain-top nest where, without food or water, it will do some rather dreadful things to its beak, wings and talons.  After 5 months it will take its flight of rebirth.

At this stage I’m thinking I don’t have 5 minutes, never mind 5 months. However, according to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center which is part of its Veterinary Science School, instead of extending its life, any eagle that went without food for 5 months would be dead.

I understand why the eagle was chosen. The eagle is symbolic of strength and supremacy.  It forms part of the official insignia of countries as disparate as Austria, America, Ghana and Panama. Many of its attributes, we aspire to: tenacious grasp, near-perfect perception, no known predators, impressive reach measured by its incredible wingspan. Eagles are loners yet many species mate for life.

Though the details of the slide show are erroneous the message is universal:  our past can weigh us down; we can recreate our lives through shedding that which will prevent us from moving forward; and renewal often requires difficult and painful decisions. To say that this is challenging stuff is to understate.

This fabricated story of the eagle bears many similarities of mythological creatures that are reborn in perpetuity, the most well known being that of the phoenix.

Do you dare take the eagle/phoenix challenge?

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