Flight

I dream of flight.

I wake up in the morning to hear the soft chirps the common sparrow makes as it pecks at the berries on the shrubs, as it welcomes the arrival of a new day with a soft melody. It is small, dull, brown and unnoticeable amongst the many species of birds, but it is airborne.

I look as the seagulls glide in the sky and hover over the deep blue waters below. I see them swoop down on their prey and rise into the sky again, triumphant, exultant, a marksman never to miss its target. They are hunters. They kill, they take away lives, but they fly.

I watch the eagles fly overhead, their strong wings outstretched, undaunted by the strong winds blowing their direction high up in the sky. They pass among the clouds, where no one dares to go for fear of falling. Unburdened by earthly desires, they fly.

I dream of flight.

So I fashion wings of wax and feathers, crafting them into things of beauty and utility. The feathers are smooth like the silk I wear, and they glow like the fireflies do in the middle of the forest, not far away from where I live, under the moonlight. The wax is the lightest of the splash of colors the sunset creates as it sinks below the horizon slowly, pale yellow that looks like the color of the eyes of the cat that wanders around my home. The wings are beautiful, for lack of a better word. They look like hope and dreams.

I tie them to my thin, earthbound arms, feeling the soft leather straps that I wrap around my arms that smell like heaven. I walk towards the place where I planned for months to take off, a precipitous cliff overlooking the sea where I used to watch the birds fly freely. I take a deep breath and smell the salt, the anticipation, the elation in the air as I step forward, feeling the cool rock below my bare feet.

I break into a run, feeling the breeze in my blonde hair. Like an arrow released from a bow, I sprint forward and lift myself off the high rock, thrusting myself into the unknown world no human had ever gone.

I pass just above the sea, letting my fingers touch the cool, crystal clear waters just barely, for fear that the feathers would get drenched, and far away from the sun where I would not get scorched. I flap my wings and suddenly I am flying, flying.

I wait for night to fall so I can fly higher and I end up amongst the clouds. It is cold and dark, with only the company of the moon and the stars. Moonlight is pale and far away, never to offer the radiance that the sun gives the earth. Stars dot the sky like the freckles on my cheek but do not bring warmth.

Suddenly it feels too safe.

If I fly and do not soar, how will I know the universe? If I fly and do not soar, how will I find the special things that lie inside of me? If I fly and do not soar, how will I really, truly, fulfill my dream of flight?

So I choose to soar, upward into the sunlit sky, high where the eagles go, high where the earthbound creatures have never explored. I feel the clouds as I brush past, a cool sensation rubbing my arms that are tired from flight. I fly higher and higher, until I feel the wax melting, dripping, trickling into the glass-still waters below. Yet I fly higher, straight towards the sun, straight towards the Son.

I see the feathers of my masterpiece fall off one by one, like the leaves the trees in the forest shed in autumn. The leather, scorched by the sun, loosens and falls, leaving me defenseless and vulnerable. I feel myself plunging downwards, far, far downwards into the ocean below. Yet I am not afraid of what is to come, even though where I am going is anybody's guess.

Because maybe men are not meant to ride with clouds between their knees, but given a second chance, I would still fly.