When I was a young girl – a very young girl – I dreamed I could fly.
All by myself.
It was glorious while it lasted.
This photograph reminds me of that dream.
Lying in bed trying to fall asleep was not always easy when I was a child. Feelings are hard to sort out, identify and soothe when you’ve barely learned to read and write. I was also expected to solve my own problems.
Maybe it was watching the Mighty Mouse cartoons. I couldn’t take my eyes off his soaring figure and trademark cape…flying high to Save The Day. Or maybe, later, it was the view from the branches of the tree I loved to climb. Peeking out from behind the leaves.
For whatever reason, I transformed to a girl in flight during nighttime dreams. The dream began as I started running…
…running across my backyard. Faster and faster. Through the neighbor’s lawn. Until the grass was a blur. The trees were a blur. Only the sky still in focus. Always a blue sky. When my legs could run no faster, I’d jump. Without fail, Up I Went. My arms straight out to my sides, waving up and down birdlike. Flying away. Just like that…
Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you are aboard there is nothing you can do.
Isn’t that the truth.
Even when I want to say…get me the hell off.
I am not ready for this yet.
For the irrelevance thrust on me.
Rendered invisible. Packed in behind the younger.
Respect once earned upended in the turbulence of senior discounts… now that you’re 50…60…over 60….doors start to shut. Deaf ears abound.
Forgetting one too many things
Which 20 years ago went unnoticed.
Or commented on.
Mask floating down. Got it.
Pulling the life vest cords. Got it.
I tell the younger kin I am not this old inside my head.
They nod. Eyes looking beyond. Already past me.
Uncomprehending…until it’s their aged faces staring back at them. That’s what she meant.
There will be no mad dash for the exits.
Even in an emergency.
I’m on this ride for the duration. Wind. Rain. Thunder.
Wrinkles. Gray hair. Early dinners. Early to bed.
System slowdowns. Bumpy rides. Love and loss.
Dried up everything, but oozing with wisdom.
And ideas. Just ask.
But they won’t.
The longer I’m on this stormy plane ride, the wiser I get.
Not my first rodeo.
…the next leg on my Golden Years journey.
Seatbelt fastened and secure.
Building up those frequent flyer miles.