I glide upon the evening breeze
Carried effortlessly and silently, gently forwards, slowly downwards,
With breath-taking views all around
It’s been a while since I’ve flown so high,
Felt the freedom of just being there
Unattached from the ground
The flight, no matter how short,
Is always a welcome change.
The breeze tells me that the time is right
The clear dark skies speckled with thousands of lights
The remaining leaves rustle as the wind starts to blow
Whispers all around chant “Go! Go! Go!”
I close my eyes as I stand up tall
I let myself lean forward – I let myself fall
The wind catches me before I fall down
And gently, it lifts me up from the ground
Higher and higher it allows me to fly
Carrying me up to the edge of the sky
Over the rivers and valleys and hills
Changing my direction upon my will
Faster I soar through raindrops and cloud
Speed is not limited, all is allowed
I’m over the ocean, and then over the land
Carried along by an invisible hand
Onwards and forwards, upwards and faster
Invigorated! Refreshed! I can’t contain my laughter!
Then as quick as it started comes the end of my flight…
Until the next time the breeze tells me the time is right.
Pure rain, sharp, cold and very wet, pricked at my cheeks as I raced forwards. Droplets of water tickled as they trickled down my face and neck, seemingly gathering in my sodden collar. Not enough to stop me, however.
Whatever the weather, I will still fly.
I’m aiming higher and getting better.
Once I’ve properly mastered the flight, I’ll work on the landing.
One thing at a time.
No rush. All things considered.
The gathered crowd cheered as I performed trick after trick for their entertainment.
The hall was full – possibly four hundred people standing, waiting, for the announcement. When the hall manager came out onto the stage and advised that the announcement had been postponed, and quite possibly cancelled, the crowd started to jeer. Too many people in such a confined space to leave things as they were. And with one door at the front of the hall, and one at the back, if it got ugly, there was no escape.
I knew that I needed to calm the room. Detract the attention from the negative feelings that were starting to bubble to the surface. Tempers were starting to fray, and I needed to act. Fast.
But how could I? I’ve never done anything like this in public.
I’m not a performer. I don’t have the confidence to stand up in front of a room with five people in, let alone hundreds. And, in the back of my mind, my nagging inner voice was repeating one word to me over and over: Fail.
I had no choice in the matter. I knew I had to do it, fail or not. Voices were starting to raise.
I jumped. High.
I summersaulted twice before landing again. Those nearby were taken aback. They stood back, and circled me.
I jumped again, this time grabbling hold to the wooden beam that went around the walls in the hall. I back-flipped off the wall again, and landed perfectly on both feet, in the exact spot where I’d left a couple of seconds earlier.
The people around me started to ooh and ah and clap. The people further back were beginning to quieten down, starting to move in to see what was going on.
I leapt again, this time I flew over the heads of a lot of the crowd, onto the stage. I spun a few times in the air, to make it look as though I was performing acrobatics rather than simply flying.
When the people started to clap louder, I could feel that the negativity start to lift. I continued to jump and fly and summersault, even hi-fiving some of the people as I flew above them. I was enjoying myself as much as the crowd were, and their cheers were telling me how much they were enjoying my little show.
My final trick was the best. I flew around, above everyone’s head, for five minutes. No spins or backflips or anything – just flight. Around the room. The crowd couldn’t believe what I could do. I couldn’t believe that I was doing it!
Ill-feeling dissipated, the crowd started to leave the hall in an orderly fashion, and in really good spirits. I waited for them all to leave before I left.
The hall manager waved as I flew passed him, out of the front door and into the night.
I have odd dreams at times, but good ones. This one really helped me – and the crowd – to feel good! And I can’t complain about that!
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…”