The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


db Conard, The Quill

Flight of Wings and Abilities

Ravens are one of the brightest birds in the world, but they are known for their skullduggery, mischief and nonsense.

Monday afternoon I watched Ravens doing things in the air that I would not have imagined, had I not seen the show myself.

They were playing and showing off to their friends, and one after the other, each would lift from their perch into strong winds that would be too fast to fly in for most birds.

With barely a flap, each Raven would step from their branch and seemingly float to about 100 feet above the others, then would stoop for a short dive for speed, and began what is called in sport aviation, a routine.

I never knew a bird could do a spin, but I saw one. Loops, rolls, a chandelle where the raven would climb and almost stall in slow flight at the top of the turn, and then would quickly catch the wind and speed in the opposite direction only to return with a dive into his next maneuver. Each bird finished with a smooth precision landing using as little effort as possible.

This group of birds were obviously working together and demonstrating flight abilities and techniques to each other. The difference in abilities was obvious, especially when one of the last birds to fly did it with such a natural grace as to literally make the watcher make noises of appreciation and envy of the natural freedom that allowed these creatures to play with flight for the sheer pleasure of it, and in the strongest of winds. As a pilot, I appreciated this unique moment and their air show would be a lifetime treasure for me.

In addition to the flight show, I enjoyed eating in town on Sunday with friends David and his wife Judith who were having lunch with several others at a favorite dining spot in Ely. They asked me to join them at their table.

David's guests were members of a project that had been the result of an inspiration David had received some years before. David's project is a story in itself and is a Heartland Treasure I am anxious to write in the near future after he shares with me more of the who, what, why, where, and how answers.

One of the people at the table was a man named Peter. Peter works for people on their way out of prison.

His job is to persuade businesses that there are some good reasons to consider hiring those members of our society who in the past seldom got a second look.

The story Peter told was of a teenager who had been convicted of a serious crime. Now almost 12 years later there is a young man who had spent his sentence bettering himself while paying for his crime.

His efforts had qualified him for a final round of interviews for a great job with a very prestigious company. It would be at this interview that he would reveal his crime to his prospective employers.

The story goes on about this man's hiring and his successes. The point of Peter's story was, that there were even a more important result from that humane consideration, and that was the success of recruiting a new believer in second chances.

The owner of the company that had such great results from their efforts went on to encourage other business owners to consider the benefits of opening more employment doors for those with seemingly hopeless futures.

During that last interview, when the man revealed his crime, it was to the owner, general manager, and the personnel director, all women.

The crime he revealed was a brutal teenage gang rape.

The treasure in the story to me was that all three women overcame their natural disgust and helped, not only with their offer to hire him, but the jobs they found or created for even more people whose success in life came from the gift of forgiveness.

If they can forgive such a thing as this act, what is it in our lives that we might be able to forgive if someone has made a change? It is surely something for us all to ponder.