When I was a little girl, I could fly.
Every recess you could find Little Jo Blu, as my grandfather called me, making a bee-line for the swings. I would stay there for as long as I could, pumping my legs as hard as I could, soaring into the sky. I could fly, and fly I did…usually donning an imaginary red cape very similar to the one Super-Woman wore.
I don’t really remember much about flying in the school-yard. It seems like there must have been someone alongside me, but I can’t remember who. The memory is isolated and foggy. All I can really recall is the feeling I’d have in that achingly brief moment when my swing would reach as far as it could go, and for a instant – a fraction of a breath – I’d be suspended in air, weightless and free. Then gravity would wrap its firm fingers around me – a reminder of just how earth-bound I was.
It never got old, that feeling of suspension. The feeling that if I believed hard enough, I could become a bird, or at least fly like one.
Last week, as I was lying in bed wide-awake, trying to talk my frazzled mind into going to sleep, this memory (among others) careened into my brain. I can’t figure out what prompted it, but I miss it. Miss being so utterly lost in the feeling of swinging, in the power of imagination, that for the briefest of moments, you are what you dream you are.
These days my dreams are different. I don’t daydream about flying. I haven’t had an imaginary red cape in decades. I dream about a house that cleans itself. A dog that doesn’t shed, or eat poo. Meals that make themselves. Clocks that count seconds a little more slowly.
Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I forgot about flying. It left me. No, that doesn’t sound right. I think I left it. At some point in my life I decided it was silly. Too fanciful. Unrealistic.
I think I need to go find a swing, and remember.