On a rare warm day in February, I step outside,
Feet squelching through the muddy brown grass.
I pause and look up, the blue sky calling my gaze.
White clouds drift across the sky, and I am mesmorized,
This temporary break from a gray, cold winter.
Suddenly, three birds fly over my head.
But they are close. I can see them. Their wings flapping with strength,
Their chests straining as they climb through the air.
I watch them, and I feel the muscles in my arms and my chest,
Straining in rhythm with theirs. And for one moment, I am certain…
I have flown before.
I know this feeling. My body remembers the exertion.
My arms begin to raise, as if, at any moment, they wil be capable of lifting me into the air.
I close my eyes and I can remember the feel of the wind hitting my face.
I can remember squinting through the bright sunlight.
I can remember the exhilarating rush of climbing and falling.
And then I step back.
What flights of imagination.
I am a logical woman. My feet have never left the ground.
I bring my eyes back to earth, continue to walk through the brown grass.
But one part of my mind rebels. It says, No, you are wrong.
You have flown before.
I wrote this poem because it showed up in my mind and needed to be written down. But, I sat here puzzling over it. Because, I do have this feeling that I have flown before. What is that all about? And as I have sat here thinking about it, I suddenly have this memory of me, as a small child, on a very windy day, running through a field. Certain that if I just run fast enough, lift my arms high enough, the wind will lift me off the ground and take me away. Maybe if I just take some jumps in the air, that will help the wind along. I remember running for the joy of it, my face turned to the sky, my heart pounding as I pushed myself as fast as I could go. I remember lying on my back, staring, watching the clouds sail past. Dreaming of living in those clouds, how soft they must be! Ah yes. I have flown before.
Oh, to remember how to be a child and fly again.