Phoenix

The phoenix hope,

Can wing her way through the desert skies,

And still defying fortune’s spite;

Revive from the ashes and rise.

–Miguel de Cervantes Saavendra

The phoenix is, supposedly, an eagle sized bird and looks like a cross between an eagle and a pheasant. The poets, though, love to believe that the phoenix has the best part of each and every bird in the world. But that is not why this bird is so special.. They myth goes like this :

The phoenix is supposed to be immortal – periodically, as it grows older and older, it builds itself a very special nest consisting of the best of herbs, spices and wood. Then, when the time comes, it sits in the nest, turns towards the sun, and as the sun rays ignite its nest, it beats its wings to fuel the fire till it is not consumed. And after the “death” of the phoenix, a small phoenix arises from the “pyre”, beginning the life cycle of this fantastic bird once more. The phoenix has a very special place when it comes to religion and symbology – the very egg of this bird signifies “rebirth”.

Rebirth – I am not talking about the age-old philosophy and debate regarding this topic. I am talking about the rebirth a person goes through in this lifetime itself. And not just one rebirth, there are many .. really many. A drastic change, a drastic fact – you never thought you’d have to open your eyes and acknowledge, a situation you always thought “happened to others”. All these and more, cause a rebirth. Rebirth is painful – the very fact that there is a “re” in rebirth, drives home a point – there’s got to be death, before the birth.

Death is not easy – coz it requires a part of you to go away forever. You know that part of you is bad, but you’ll never want it to go, out of habit. But death, will not wait. It will claim its due and then there will be pain, loss and maybe some mourning. And within that somber state of mind, there will be birth. A small shoot of something good that is to fill up your life. It will be so small, that you may just not realize that it has already taken birth.  From within the ashes, the phoenix does rise.

One of the most difficult deaths to die, is to realize that one has to embrace one’s darker side, and yet not let it overpower you. The taming of the darker side and its subsequent co-existence is not an easy task – specially since, often the darker side decides to give up and pay back in an equal currency.  The nest is created, over and over again, and the fire is lit, over and over again, and the bird dies, over and over again. But, from within the ashes, the phoenix does rise.

And so will I.

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