When my daughter was small, she owned a pair of sturdy fabric fairy wings. She wore them all the time and felt she had great power while wearing them. Yesterday, I found them and we talked about her wearing them years ago. She looked at them, smiled and observed that their size would not enable her to fly at her current teenage size.

I am reminded of a quote: “She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.”

After my husband died, I knew I had to choose how to live and mold my future story. I made the decision I was going to learn, serve and be happy. I took the leap toward happiness, service and learning. At first, my wings were tiny and I hurled to the earth. I forced myself to look outside myself, be happy and learn from my experiences. I built tiny wings with faith, hope and friends.

I realized in my leap I came very close to crashing, but as the earth rushed near, my sheer will made my wings flap harder and grow. I felt the swoop and near miss and headed back up into the sky. I kept forcing my wings to stretch and grow, consciously making the effort to be happy and move forward.

I now soar with strong wings. I still swoop toward the earth, but my what was a deliberate effort at happiness, faith, service and learning comes much more naturally and my wings continue to strengthen.

So if you have tiny wings, take heart, flap hard and they will grow.