Learning to Fly
I used to think that I could fly. I also slept on the top level of a bunk bed, which–as you can no doubt imagine–was a risky and high-stakes combination. Fortunately, I emerged from this period of my life largely unscathed. In fact, I found that the best time to fly was when I was asleep and could soar anywhere I wanted in my dreams.
I was thinking today that perhaps, though I know that I am unlikely to successfully take to the skies without the assistance of an airplane, hot air balloon, or related contraption, I still yearn to fly. Wouldn’t it be amazing, I find myself musing, to swoop high and low alongside the eagles? To hover quietly beside the hardworking hummingbird, admiring the flowers? To skim over the surface of the ocean and dive in and out of waves, only to return–salty, refreshed, laughing–to the air, out of reach of the tossing water?
I reflected, then, that my desire to fly has more to do with my desire for freedom and for a wide breadth of reach and influence in the world than it does with actual physical flight. And then, continuing in this vein of contemplation, I wondered: what is it that having the ability to fly would provide me? And how can I cultivate more of this quality in my everyday life?
To me, flying would provide a sense of excitement, adventure, and possibility. It would provide the chance to travel in style (!), and also the freedom to see the world from a variety of perspectives. More than anything, it would give me the ability to move through the world with ease, lightness, and joy. That doesn’t sound too bad, right?
So today, I am learning to fly again. I am learning to spread my wings. Don’t worry, though: I no longer have a bunk bed.