When I was a little girl, I would occasionally dream that I was flying. I can still feel the exhilaration of effortlessly swooping and soaring through the air. My flight path would always take me high above my school playground, where I would see my grounded classmates gaping up at me, hands shading eyes, as I flew past. So vivid were my dreams, I was convinced that it was only a matter of time and practice before I would be able to fly in my waking hours too. Alas, the many hours I spent running and flapping my arms in my back yard were all for naught. Sadder still: as I grew older, my flying dreams became rarer and rarer until I eventually stopped having them altogether.
Last week a storm took the power out in our neighborhood. Reluctantly, I surrendered to the darkness and went to bed early, griping to my sister by text that I hoped to awaken in the 21st century, when we could take things like power and light for granted. At 4 am when the power was restored, I was awakened by the sound of systems coming back online. As I lay in bed listening to the clicking, whirring, and humming of my house in the ‘burbs coming back to life, I realized with nostalgia and regret that I had had my first flying dream in decades. It went like this…
My dream began at work, where I quarreled with a colleague and huffily announced that I was quitting to take another job. The new job was even more stressful, because I had to pretend I knew what I was doing, all while straining to be perky and personable to make a good first impression. Suddenly, I was outside, and I was flying. But instead of soaring past it all, sleek and serene, as if in a Chagall painting, I was seated on a wobbly, flying ring. I gripped the sides of the ring for dear life as it bore me aloft. I was completely at the mercy of the wind. Scared that I would lose my balance and plummet from my perch, I timidly tried to exercise some control over where I was going by kicking my legs, to no avail. From time to time, a strong gust of wind would suddenly lift me to a dizzying height. Just as suddenly, the wind would die down, and I would sink alarmingly fast toward the ground. At one point, I looked down to see a man and his child flying a kite. I glanced up just in time to see their big box kite coming straight at my face and had to quickly duck my head to avoid slamming into it. It was then that I woke up.
It’s pretty obvious the universe is sending me an important message through this dream. I think it’s telling me it’s time to shrug off this mortal coil, to slip “the surly bonds of Earth,” to get out there and start flapping my arms again…And I almost definitely will! Maybe tomorrow. If it’s not raining, or too hot, and if I’m not too tired after work.