The crisp white clouds made the solid appearance of the blue sky even more striking. The rooftops on the hillside seemed to make the sky appear higher, further away, if that could be possible. The roads, pathways, walkways, gardens, steps and streams below seemed to be immediately within touching distance, they were so close, in comparison. However, the sky and the ground were both some distance away.
Standing on the sloped rooftop was a challenge to learn in itself. Landing on the sloped rooftop was the first challenge. It had to be approached with confidence, with the correct angle and speed, otherwise the landing would hurt. Knees would be grazed, elbows injured, noses possibly broken. I learned my lesson the easy way; I bruised my nose, knees and palms of my hands. I’ve landed with more care ever since.
The hillside village has changed considerably over the past few years. Landing platforms have been built, walls have become wider, more steps have been built or dug into the hillside, and some of the buildings have flat roofs, or just a slight incline. Transport is rarely used in the village, and the roads are now used for marketplaces, outdoor concerts and readings. Once, when cars and single-deck buses would travel through the roads of the village, it was a noisy place. Clogged with traffic jams at certain times of the day, and everyone seemed to be running late, regardless of the fact that most people had a form of transport to travel more quickly.
One by one, we all developed our skill. One by one, we took to the skies. One by one we felt the freshness of the air, without the fumes from the vehicles. We could taste the freshness. Cooling. Refreshing. The rains, when they came, were invigorating. Exciting even. People waited for the rain in fact, to be able to feel the natural forces of nature as they soared high into the skies. It wasn’t a case of getting wet, it was a case of feeling the ultimate connection to everything – by not being in contact with anything. The raindrops were proof that this was real. We were there. High, in the sky, and by our own ability.
I’ve been flying for several years now. I just look upwards, open my chest and take a slow, deep breath, and ‘see’ myself take off the ground in my mind’s eye. I lift. I feel heavier in the first few seconds, gravity wants to exert its own power and keep me grounded. I have to see passed this. Gravity is a natural force, but so is flight. Eventually, the two forces work together and find the perfect balance. Then, it is just a case of looking in the direction that I want to go, and I move forwards in that direction. The speed can be a little tricky, as clothing, and the angle of my body to the ground can have an effect, but no more so than running. Once we are used to flying, we can fly as fast, or as slowly, as we wish. It’s our own minds that limit us, and hold us back.
And here I am, on this rooftop. Looking out over the village on this beautiful summer’s day. Children are on the ground below, having their first flying ‘lessons’. Fellow villagers are taking to the skies to go about their business, or to just enjoy this freedom that they have. This feeling of freedom is definitely worth experiencing. I look around at the people, the village, the hills in the distance, the sky and the clouds, and think to myself “Imagine if this were a dream…”