”Oh, fly, fly, so high against the sky.”
Those words are one of the repetitive refrains in the song ”The Wind Beneath My Wings,” made famous by Bette Midler in the movie Beaches.
Not being a movie buff, I find it is amazing how some story lines just stick with you. The spirit of bravery and strength in the face of life changing illness is likened in the movie to nature’s – and our country’s – symbol of strength and freedom, the eagle.
”I can fly higher than an eagle” the song continues giving the sense of liberation and release of all earthy ties.
But what happens if the wing is damaged? What happens if only the spirit can soar and not the body?
In the movie the character, depicted by strength and direction, relinquished her headstrong control of life and lived with the support of those around her.
So too is the story line of ”Liberty,” the newest addition to the Jamestown Audubon Society. She is a bald eagle who will live the remainder of her life – perhaps 20-some more years – in captivity because her wing was damaged in the wild where she could no longer survive. Our local nature center, as explained in our feature on Page S-1, has committed to be the ”wind beneath the wings” of ”Liberty” with daily care for her lifetime. Now that’s commitment.
The inspiration of ”Liberty’s” story – and those who care for her – can be the wind beneath our wings as we realize the beauty and value of living in caring communities, in places where people are each other’s heroes and help each other fly everyday- even in the face of adversity.
Today we celebrate the opening of our new ice arena. Many hope it is the beginning of a huge gust of wind that carries our community to fly so high so as to touch the sky. While we may not be in the outer stratosphere, we certainly can feel the winds of change coming through our community and thank all those who work to harness the power of that spirit.
We especially recognize Tom Cardman, executive director, Chuck Hall, president, and the members of the Gebbie Foundation board of directors for their leadership in these efforts.
You are our heroes.