when i was a kid, i could fly.
i would spread my cape, swell my chest, and worlds would tremble. a jump, and i was afloat in the air. a duck and a swirl, and cloud formations would part. a swoop and a dive, and i would be truly alive.
in the large beyond, in the vast expanse i had at my disposal, i could espy the enemy. i could espy those who were trapped. few, if any, were beyond redemption. a million times i was captured, a million times i faced death; and every one of those times i lived a new life. on the chance i could not fly, i was limited to the trees, i was a jungle man. burroughs would have been impressed as i swung up and around. there has been a time that a curtain cord was the best substitute for jungle vines. even if it meant collapsing the curtain on my head. my adventures continued unabated.
tables, shelves, cupboards, beds were no more; i knew only buildings and tunnels and ledges. my bat was in turn a sword, a gun, a cutlass, a bow. corners and crevices were discovered a hundred times over, secret doors opened, hidden lairs uncovered. there was no limit to where i could go, what i could do and how i could do it. the playground a few floors below afforded more possibilities than the builders would have imagined; and the fact that i had company that expanded on my concepts only made everything more real. and so much more possible.
action figures were a craze, but were limited in their stories and possibilities. i: i could be anyone – a god, a superhero, a commando, a devil, a normal man pushed to the limits, a hero who just discovered what he could do – anyone.
today, i sit in a chair and type this out. those times remain a memory; even if every adventure is played out in my head. i cannot wrap a cloth around my neck and have a cape billow out. i cannot disguise myself and save the day. there is something to be said about growing older – the possibilities that existed so easily diminish faster than you can think of them. one day, you wake up. and you find that you’re going to be 25. that life needs goals and direction. that some things are better left unsaid. that some things are so easily forgotten to be said – and that it matters. that you can get all those toys that you searched for as a kid, but can’t really play with them like you wanted to. that every single one of the things that you thought so easy back then are barely practical in real life.
i wish that i could watch someone enjoy the times the way i did, but that is not true of the world today. i want to take some one by the hand and lead them into the land of neverland. show them the bridge that needs to be crossed to be able to fly. walk with them across and watch them disappear into the sky, reform the clouds, live the dive.
maybe someday i will. and hopefully fly again.
Courtesy ‘Bridge to Terabithia’