Like the wind

John's thoughts on Shayera.

There's nothing quite like flying. No feeling like throwing off the shackles of gravity and falling upwards, higher and higher, to where the earth's surface becomes a vast, unending scroll and all its features merely words, an epic etched by both man and nature. And at dawn and dusk when strokes from the Master's brush stretch right across the sky, the hues bleed and blur into one another to form colours without names. Then you climb higher still so that the clouds are rolled beneath you and the wind is barely a whisper and you think, this is what Heaven must be like.

You can tell a lot about a person from the way they fly. Both Superman and Wonder Woman fly fist-outwards, as if trying to vanquish the very air that dares offer them resistance. They punch through clouds with single-minded determination, their only goal to get to their destination as quickly as possible. J'onn on the other hand, tends to keep his arms by his sides and his head down as he flies, demonstrating his typical Martian respect for nature and all her forces. Me? I'm just thankful for the opportunity to go where most men have only dreamed. My Lantern ring is the invisible fishing line that keeps me suspended in the air, and sheathed in its green energy, my human body is protected from the extreme temperatures and the reduced air pressure that would surely have killed me otherwise.

And then there's Hawkgirl. Nobody flies like she does.

She always starts with a leap, a single vertical step. Her powerful back muscles then take up the charge and flap her enormous yet delicate wings, stirring dust into a whimsical dance. With a few more slow and deliberate movements she's airborne; she relaxes and glides. The sight of her wings, fully extended and twelve feet from tip to ash-gray tip is surreal. She holds them perfectly still, the only movement being the ruffle of feathers as the wind combs through them. She is buoyed by the flow of air, and by the hot breath exhaled by the earth. She knows that the wind is a capricious ally and so has learned to recognize even the slightest variation in the notes of its song. A mere twitch of her wings, and she gains or loses altitude. She slices through the air with consummate ease and miles of terrestrial distance are eaten up with barely any effort.

It's amazing.

She's amazing but a hard one to get to know. She will never initiate a conversation, nor will she volunteer information about herself. She can be cold, downright frigid. And it's impossible to know what she's thinking behind that inscrutable helmet of hers. It's only by watching her, like a surfer on the tenuous currents, that you begin to see who she really is. She is a true daughter of the Air, and as such has inherited some of his traits: the intensity of midday sun, the uniqueness of a snow crystal, the sudden justice of a lightning strike. To me, though, she is most like the wind: an enigma, impulsive and intangible, whose origin is mysterious and destination even more unclear. And in the end, you don't understand – you're not sure you ever will. All you can do is breathe her in and be grateful that she passed by.