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jedediah smith state park, california (photo: cathy b glenn)

Once there lived a city of beings atop a great green canopy. The mindfully drifting wind swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, humans and not — the wind going its own way, knowing only its purpose.

Each city-bound being — in her/his/their own fabulous fashion — clung tightly to the branches and leaves of the great green canopy, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the wind is what each had learned from birth.

But one being spoke, at last: “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I see it in the art of its imprint, and I trust that the wind knows its purpose and where it’s going. I shall let go, and let the wind take me where it will, while I ride and dance.”

The other beings laughed and said, “Naive fool! Let go and that wind you trust will throw you tumbled and smashed across the jagged mountain!”

But the one being heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was blown and tumbled away and smashed against the jagged mountain, bouncing back up onto the canopy. Clinging once again.

But, in time and possibilities and hope, the creature imagined a different ending: the knowing wind lifting her to fly. Refusing to cling with the rest, she let go and the wind lifted her free from the canopy, and she was bruised and hurt no more.

The being who let go, the one now carried by the wind, said, “The universe delights to lift us all free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure. Our true purpose is riding and dancing on the wind of the universe so that others may see and let go, so they may learn to fly: so they may embrace the world from the sky.”

*Inspired by the opening tale in Illusions, by Richard Bach

Cathy B Glenn, PhD is an independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker whose areas of expertise are power, culture, and change.

Formerly Private Principal Investigator for The Center for U.S. Rural Cultures Studies, she is now Content Director and Developer for “The Relational Democracy Project” (under construction).

Cathy’s Story Index

All Medium stories are works in progress.

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (

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