Once upon a time a family of owls lived in a huge city; Daddy Wise Owl, Mummy Gentle Owl, their two sons, Fly High, and Always Seeking, and their daughter, Star of Life. They were quite content in a citified kind of way. They loved exploring the city and some nights they perched on the bridge looking at the mighty river that flowed through the city, watching the water swirl below them. They tracked the river with their strong wings as far as possible wondering what lay beyond.
ALWAYS LOOK UP
They loved looking up at the night sky with its luminous stars lighting up the horizon, and the bright moon that lit their way. Daddy Wise Owl told his children to always look up at the stars and beyond them. He told them to choose one star and reach out for it. ‘Each one of you is special in different ways.
You have different talents. You can achieve anything you want to, just believe. Gaze at your star and visualize yourself up there. Aim high and fly off above and beyond the horizon. Practise flying every day. Meditate, believe and know that you can do it.’ And so, they grew up believing in themselves.
On night a storm ripped through the city. Shafts of lightening rent the skies and hit the tree where they lived. Their nest was knocked to the ground and scattered by the strong winds. The Owl family lay on the ground, stunned, bedraggled and shivering. Daddy Wise Owl encompassed them all with his huge wings and kept them warm for the rest of the night. As soon as the first light of dawn streaked the sky Daddy Wise Owl woke them up. ‘We must find a new home. We all know how to fly. We have wings and hope and can fly anywhere we choose. Let’s join our wings as one and with each other’s strength start a new life, but you can only take one treasure with you.”
STUCK IN A RUT
At first there were a few squabbles. Fly High wanted to take his manuscript of life and his drum. Always Seeking wanted his collection of leaves and his magic telescope. Star of Life wanted her very large collection of bark slippers and her magic flute. Mummy Owl wanted to take all the family heirlooms and Daddy Wise Owl was reluctant to leave his favourite magic books behind.
The day had gone by, wasted with words and scattered energy as they hunted for their possessions, surprisingly finding most of them. Exhausted and dispirited Mummy Owl said: ‘We can’t go anywhere. We have too much to take and it will weigh us down. We won’t be able to fly high or far.’ Daddy Owl replied: ‘We have each other and our dreams. Remember our goal and focus. Look at the star you chose. Can you see it shining brightly?’
FIND YOUR STAR
Star of Life was upset. ‘I can’t see my star.’ Daddy Wise Owl told her to look again. She looked and focused very hard and, in the distance, above the dark clouds she saw her star. It was coming closer, shining brighter and brighter. Fly High Owl was looking at three special stars trying to decide which one, Daddy Wise Owl reminded him to take one step at a time, focus on one dream, one star and then hop aboard. His star loomed up in front of him. Always Seeking was having a wonderful time swooping through the trees, calling out to his friends and gathering more leaves for his collection. Daddy Owl tweaked his feathers. ‘Find your star, focus on it and then you can spread your wings.’
WHAT’S IMPORTANT IN YOUR LIFE?
Mummy Owl had found a huge star. She had loaded it with everything she could find. She put too much on her star and it flopped to the ground losing its lustre. Daddy Wise Owl reminded her about the benefits of travelling light. ‘You can travel faster and further if you don’t take too much stuff with you.’ Not wanting to agree with him, (well what wife does), she glared and flew up into the tree.
Daddy Wise Owl was getting impatient. ‘You’re all looking for the wrong things. Time out everyone. Close your eyes and picture what you value most. What is your prize possession? Something that will help you on your journey or is it something you want to keep for the rest of your lives? Focus. Visualize. Choose your treasure wisely.’
They rummaged through their possessions. Fly High Owl was scattering everything and making a mess. Always Seeking was getting in his way and Star of Life was busy preening her feathers. Mummy Owl was sweeping up the leaves and picking up the broken branches left behind by the storm, muttering crossly under her breath. Daddy Wise Owl was sitting under a tree meditating. He opened his eyes and looked at the frantic behaviour of his family. Nobody was achieving anything, and they were all very tired and frustrated.
LOOK FOR THE TRUTH
‘Children,’ Mummy Owl said in that stern voice she used when she had something important to say. ‘Stop playing and gather around.’ She looked at them lovingly. ‘Do you know what you are looking for? Do you remember what your father said?’ They looked at each other and ruffled their feathers. ‘Now listen carefully to your father. Concentrate.’ Daddy Wise Owl flew over them and spread his wings protectively. ‘Fly High Owl what is your prize possession? His son replied. ‘I really want to take more than one.
They are Hope, Resilience and Positivity.’ Always Seeking chimed in. ‘I want to take Self-Belief and Inner Strength.’ Star of Life piped up. ‘That’s not fair. I also want to take Self-Belief and Inner Strength. You can’t take mine.’ ‘Don’t worry,’ said Daddy Owl, ‘there is plenty to go around. You can also take Inner Peace with you and teach it to your brothers.’ They all hooted. Daddy Wise Owl looked at his wife. ‘Have you decided? ‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘My most treasured possessions, my family here in front of me. You live in my heart forever. I will also take love and unity.’
WHERE ARE THESE TREASURES?
‘Daddy,’ the small owls choruses. ‘What is your prize possession, your treasure? What will you take on our journey?’
He replied. ‘Positivity, Hope, Resilience, Self-Belief, Inner Strength, Inner Peace, gratitude and love.
‘But they’re our treasures?’ Fly High Owl said. Daddy Wise Owl nodded in agreement. ‘If any of you ever lose your belief or struggle to do something, I’ll be there to help you. One last question. Where will you find these treasures, these precious gifts?’
They fanned their wings and hovered just above the ground. Their eyes glowed in the gathering dusk. All motion stilled as serenity surrounded them. As one they replied. ‘We already have them inside us.’ As one they rose, wings stretched as far as they could go, feather tips dusted with starlight and the moon shone a pathway for them to follow.
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