(Based on thoughts from April 2014)
I have never thought of the phoenix as a particularly proud bird. Maybe due to my familiarity with the character of Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore’s rather good-natured pet who comes to the rescue of Harry Potter more than once in his time at Hogwarts. I’d always assumed the phoenix to be more noble than proud. Maybe somewhat aloof with an air of regalia.
I could see, though, how such a bird might develop a reputation for having a bit of an ego: dying and rising, burning gloriously in bright circles of fire, bringing forth scalding white life. I could see why others might view her as proud, boastful of her ability to regenerate. I could see why she’d be the gossip of a gaggle.
That is, until I had been there myself. Felt as if my life had been taken, all hope sucked from my body. Until my spirit had been wrenched and pulled and twisted and incinerated. Until I had dwelt in death, my heart buried in ashes, feet rooted in a still and empty place that smelled of dust and was cold as deep winter. A place so painfully silent that I could do nothing but surrender to it.
I have been told that I am emotionally honest, emotionally strong and especially capable of regeneration. I have been assured that the true self is not a thing with fixed attributes, but “an ever-transforming, every-renewing process.” I have been promised that it is not only possible, but in my very nature to be forgiving and use everything in my life for growth (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 48, 134, 204). But those are hard truths to swallow when you are buried in ashes or blazing in fire. The ability to be hopeful and creative seems all but impossible as your life passes from you.
If you are revived from such a death, such a cold and deep darkness, you are not proud. You are amazed. You are a miracle bursting to life in refining fires that sear through the dust and death. Your new life can not but shriek as the phoenix that soars from the ashes, fully alive but never proud.
She has known death and now she knows life. Only the magic of mystery could raise her from the grave.