Flights of Fancy

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. 

Small. 

Nondescript. 

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. 

Silly me. 

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. 

We remember. 

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. 

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