I Could Fly

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.


19 thoughts on “I Could Fly

  1. Sara Walpert Foster (@SaraWFoster) says:

    There is nothing like that feeling of being weightless and free. You definitely should find a swing immediately. You are right in the middle of the chaos of being a mother to young kids and despite the joys that come with that, there are times you feel weighted down and burdened. How wonderful it would be to take flight if only for a few minutes. Plan it into your schedule weekly or daily if you can. It’ll be worth every second for both you and your family.

  2. scarlettcolleen says:

    When my kids were *little* monsters (still monsters, just with more life-altering consequences), I also thought how cool to be able to reconnect with that wild, free and brave spirit I once was.

    Then I squeezed my thirty-something year old butt into the swing next to my kids at the playground. I pumped my legs ~ more strenuous than I remembered, but not impossible, I thought. My hair flew behind me, my smile grew bigger, I thought of reaching that crescendo and then jumping higher and farther than ever before ~ See! I still got it, I laughed in my crazy voice.

    Give a girl a swing and an alter ego when she grows up, and she just might have delusions of grandeur all of a sudden!

    Love! your story, Myndi! As crazy as it is, attempting daring feats on a child’s swing, I have only this to offer ~ Go. Go now. Live, Love, Laugh, feel the wind in your hair and the grass beneath your feet! Just remember to take along a band-aid.

  3. Kim Griffin says:

    Yes! Go to a swing as soon as you can and swing your heart out!

    I think most of us leave those simple, magical, important-to-the-human-spirit things behind at some point. Erroneously…

    It’s definitely time to re-discover : )

  4. Melinda says:

    How well I remember that feeling! I used to get the swing going as high as I could, right to that point of weightless, and then let go of the swing :-D. Yes, I jumped from the highest point and truly flew through the air for the briefest of seconds before I…crashed to the ground lol. I always figured one of those times I’d keep going. I remember it didn’t hurt, either. Not back then. Now of course my stomach does little turns if I get going too high and pretty sure I’d break both legs trying to land. :-/

  5. Lena Corazon says:

    I remember so vividly the day I learned how to swing. I was 8 years old, visiting my grandparents in Vancouver, BC, and my mom took me to the park. I had been trying for so long to figure out the swinging thing, and somehow, out of nowhere, I pumped my legs in just the right way… and I was airborne. It is indeed a magical, wonderful feeling. Thank you for reminding me of it this morning. 😀

  6. Tameri Etherton says:

    Every time I open my WIP I fly. I, too, left that feeling of freedom behind and somehow, I managed to find it again with my writing. I get the same whoosh of exhilaration when I’m in my imaginary worlds where not only can I fly, but I make magic. It’s fun place to be and makes the laundry, cooking, etc a little less daunting. You’ll find your inner fly girl again, I’ve no doubt.

  7. Natalie Hartford says:

    I think we all need that break from life. Where we utterly suspend all the worry, stress and pressures for a few moments to just “enjoy” and live in a moment of pure joy and limitless. It’s essential to our spirit and to our health! Here’s to finding a swing to play on every single day!

  8. Sheila Seabrook says:

    We forget so easily how to be childlike, don’t we, Myndi. Wow, this is a great reminder that we need the freedom to daydream, to not take the things in life too seriously, to enjoy each day and whatever it brings.

    I hope you get on the swing with your kids and enjoy the feeling of flying again. 🙂

  9. Pat O'Dea Rosen says:

    When we tally the three or five biggest regrets of our lives, failure to keep a sparkling clean house won’t be among them. Go find that swing–or its safe-for-the-third-trimester equivalent.

    I wish I could help with the dog and the meals. Re those meals: try a crockpot if you haven’t already. Meals do make themselves in it. ((Hugs.))

  10. Emma Burcart says:

    I remember that feeling as a kid. It was the one time I wasn’t afraid. I felt in control and powerful. And being able to swing above the rest of the park or playground and look down on them from above. It was like having super powers. You are right, we do need something like that in our adult lives. I think getting on a swing now would make me sick to my stomache. I’ll have to find another way to feel like that. Maybe a nap in a hammock in a sunny place!

  11. Julie Kenner (@juliekenner) says:

    This post brings back such wonderful memories! I used to swing as a little girl as high as I could, and the feeling of freedom was intoxicating. But what I really remember was when I was “grown up” and in high school. There was a vacant lot behind our house and behind that a church with a play yard. My best friends and I would go there in the evening and swing and talk and swing and talk. Swinging like that will always be associated for me with possibilities because our conversations inevitably centered around our future, life, what we wanted to do and be. Another type of freedom: to dream.

  12. Amber West says:

    Whenever I take my little one to the swings, I take a break and swing, too. It hurts my butt more than I remembered, but I still love that feeling of being weightless when you hit the high point. 🙂

  13. Kara says:

    I used to have these vivid dreams as a kid that I could fly. I would just float up out of bed and fly out the window. It was the most realistic dream, I could feel the cool night air, see the moon and stars just like they looked outside my bedroom window when I woke up.
    Go find that swing, I think all we need to do is awaken those childhood dreams of once upon a time:)

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