I was four the first time I flew in my dreams.
Mary Martin’s Peter Pan inspired me. Mom made sure Patty and I watched the Broadway Production when they showed it on TV, and I remember it in color, even though we had a black and white set. I saw the “V” of the wires behind everyone who flew, but it didn’t matter. They were flying.
So why did Mom get so upset when she came into our room to investigate all the thumping, and caught us climbing up on Kim’s crib, clambering over to the dresser, and jumping off pretending we were Peter and Wendy? Didn’t she realize how mature we had been to deliberately decide not to jump off the top bunk?
“There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The dreams were inevitable after that. For years, they happened every now and then, never resulting from any particular waking event I could discern. When I flew indoors, I’d take off by jumping off a bed or a toy box — or the dresser — and the ceilings were always 12 feet high. I’d circle round and around a light fixture, usually to keep out of some adult’s reach, and spend the entire time laughing.
When I flew outdoors, I’d run down an incline till the wind picked me up and then I’d fly as far and as fast as I wanted, always with my arms stretched out in front of me and joy in my heart. (A friend once told me she only had to wiggle her toes, and up she’d go!)
Those dreams don’t happen as often as they used to, in fact, I haven’t dreamt of flying in years. Maybe I’m happier on the ground now than I was then. Maybe I have a harder time imagining I could get off the ground. Maybe the joy in my heart has grown so big part of me is always flying anyway. Whatever the reason, my inner child — who is never very far from the surface — keeps waiting for just one more flying dream. Maybe tonight.
How about you? How do you fly in your dreams?