At times, especially as I sit writing in the small hours, in solitude, there are isolated moments when I reflect quietly on what was and then perhaps with some regret, how and where I now am, is so incredibly different.
I really am a writer… What an amazing honor It is. My fellow Jonathans, this piece is written especially for you.
THEY ARE PURE AS STARLIGHT
They came into view and found Jonathan gliding alone and peacefully through the sky he so dearly loves. Suddenly two gulls appear at his wings, they are pure as starlight, the glow radiating from them is friendly and gentle in the crisp night air. But most beautiful of all is the grace with which they fly, their wingtips are moving a constant and precise inch from his own. Jonathan, without a word, puts them to his own test, this test, no living gull has ever passed.
He slows to one mile per hour above stall and twists his wings around. The two radiant birds slow right down with him, they are locked into a flying formation, smooth as glass. They know all about slow flying. Folding his wings tightly, he rolls and drops in a vertical dive to a hundred and ninety-five miles an hour. Streaking down in matchless formation, they drop with him.
WE ARE YOUR NEW FLOCK JOHNATHAN
At the last possible moment, he turns up the speed and goes into a long vertical slow-roll. Smiling, they roll with him. Recovering to level flight he is quiet for a moment before he speaks. “Incredible,” he says, “so, who are you?” “We’re your new Flock, Jonathan. Your new brothers.” The words are calm and strong. “We are here to take you higher than you have ever flown, we are here to take you home.” “Home? but I have no home.
I have no flock, I am an Outcast. And we are at the Great Mountain Wind’s peak. I can no longer lift this old body any higher than a few hundred feet.” “Because you have learned so well Jonathan. you can fly much higher. This school has no more lessons for you to learn, and the time has come for you to graduate.” As it has shone over him all his life, so, once again, understanding lights up this moment for Jonathan Seagull.
“They are right. I can fly higher, and it is time to go home now.” He gives one last look across his beloved sky, across that magnificent silver world where he has learned so much. “I’m ready, ” he says at last. And Jonathan Livingston Seagull rises with the two Starbright gulls to disappear into a perfectly dark night sky