One of my long-time favorite passages from Gleanings:
Ye are even as the bird which soareth, with the full force of its mighty wings and with complete and joyous confidence, through the immensity of the heavens, until, impelled to satisfy its hunger, it turneth longingly to the water and clay of the earth below it, and, having been entrapped in the mesh of its desire, findeth itself impotent to resume its flight to the realms whence it came. Powerless to shake off the burden weighing on its sullied wings, that bird, hitherto an inmate of the heavens, is now forced to seek a dwelling-place upon the dust. Wherefore, O My servants, defile not your wings with the clay of waywardness and vain desires, and suffer them not to be stained with the dust of envy and hate, that ye may not be hindered from soaring in the heavens of My divine knowledge. (Bahá’u’lláh)
I have vivid memories of thinking of this quote 14 years ago as I pedaled along through the ice and snow of Shenyang, struggling with my inner turmoils, reminding myself that I could rise above them if I kept my wings clean. And now I can listen to this passage, which has a special place in my heart, along with other beautiful words, on The Flight, an album from Gustaff Besungu, Pam Hill and Ali Youssefi. Love it!