I am a professional flutist, teacher and Licensed Andover Educator taking beginning steps on the long journey to recovery from reconstructive hand surgery. A good friend of mine recently told me that it takes time to find the gifts in things that happen to us. After pondering this for a while, I came to the conclusion that one gift I’ve received is the time to ponder all physical, mental, and emotional challenges aspects of my injury and recovery. I takes a team of people to help deal with an injury - doctors, nurses, therapists, family, friends, but at the same time, it’s a terribly lonely place to be. Nobody else can to work that getting betters requires. Hopefully, sharing my experience with other musicians recovering from career-halting injuries will help them to know that they are not alone. Another friend loaned me a book titled “The Hand” by Frank R. Wilson, a neurologist. Dr. Wilson writes “when personal desire prompts anyone to learn to do something well with the hands, an extremely complicated process is initiated that endows the work with a powerful emotional charge.” I burst into tears when reading this because it confirmed for me that other musicians experience emotional trauma along with physical injury and that I was not going crazy! On the next page, he writes “The musician in full flight is an ecstatic creature, and the same person with wings clipped is unexploded dynamite with the fuse lit.” Again, he captures exactly how I am feeling now. As I look out my windows in the beginning of spring in Northeast Ohio, red-winged blackbirds, a cowbird, a goldfinch, sparrows, nuthatches, cardinals, purple finches, downy woodpeckers and our regular red headed woodpecker all fly around near our feeder with reckless abandon. They don’t worry about what could happen to their wings, they just go, seemingly without effort, just intent. So many different bird shapes, all with different patterns of flight. An injured wing would very likely be fatal for any of these creatures, especially if wounded and confined to the ground with outside cats and coyotes in our area. For me, my injured wing is not fatal, but merely temporary and I will fly again.