Living Happily Ever After

swans on Mississippi River

swans on Mississippi River

What is it about swans?
They make me think of fairy tales
And magic
And the ugly duckling
who discovers he’s a swan

“But the others did all the could to harass the ugly duckling. They flew at him, bit, him pecked him, hissed and screeched at him… He hid, he dodged, he zigzagged left and right, but he could not escape. The duckling was as miserable as any creature could be.”

swans on Mississippi River

I saw myself as that ugly duckling
so often as a child
I learned to fight
I learned to push away
I learned to hide too
To never show I cared
about anything

“A flock of creatures flew overhead, the most beautiful he had ever seen… Hearing their sounds made his heart leap and break at the same time. He cried back in a sound he had never made before.”

swans on Mississippi River

One would think
I’d be over all that by now
Most of the time
I am
But not always
It doesn’t take much to bring out
that outcast exiled feeling
I just want to belong
somewhere

“And for the first time, his own kind came near him and touched him gently and lovingly with their wing tips. They groomed him with their beaks and swam round and round him in greeting.”

swans on Mississippi River

As lovely as this finding your tribe
and being welcomed in is
it too may not last
There is always change
I’ve learned that the only one
who can give me what I desire
is me
I have to let myself take up space
and say, yes, it’s okay to be
an ugly duckling
a beautiful swan

To be a person who sees a river
that becomes a story
that hold so much more than swans
as beautiful as they are
There is darkness below them
Sometimes light above them
But right now there are only clouds
and snow mixed with rain
But doesn’t the dreariness
bring mystery and magic?

And saying yes to it all
In that lies possibility
No one lives happily every after
We’re all in this for the roller coaster ride
The expectation of going up,
pausing for the view at the top
Then the race down
our stomachs in our throats
screaming as we hit bottom
Then starting the slow climb up again

Quoted excerpts from “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen
Written by Maery Rose