From childhood, I had a fear of heights. I still climbed trees, still jumped off the top of the house, and still jumped off the back porch with my polyester cape pinned to the shoulders of my shirt. I made a desperate dash for the front yard every time I heard a plane coming. I imagined what it would be like to fly in one, but soon put that idea out of my head for fear of crashing. I would often lay beneath the sparse canopy of the trees in the side-yard and watch the birds. They moved so softly and effortlessly through the sky as if it were the summer breeze which directed them.
Many nights I dreamed of just turning in circles out in the yard until I built up enough momentum to lift off the ground, straight up into the air. I rose above the clothes line, above the wood shed, high above the trees and higher still. I weighed nothing, and the air was crisp and clean. I could drift forward and backward. I would get so high that the things below me were the size of the accessories to my doll house. I could fly like a bird, yet I could not dart here or there, for the motions were slow, so light, that I could not move with force or speed. At the end of the dream, I would gently float down till my toes touched the ground, then set firmly upon the arch and heel.
Some twenty years later, as my husband and I were traveling to Pigeon Forge, my husband saw a helicopter on the side of the road. We had seen many through the years and I would never agree to take a ride on one. This particular day he asked if I wanted to take a ride on the chopper with him, and suddenly I said yes. I am not sure why. We got into the chopper and my heart was pounding so hard it made my head pound too. The chopper lifted straight up, up, up, and then seemingly without any effort turned and began to fly away. We flew over clothes lines, and wood sheds, house-tops and trees. We flew so high that everything below looked like a little dollhouse village. I felt as though if I spread out my arms, I could take the chopper in any direction I wanted to go. I felt so light and free. Coming down was slow and gentle until the front of the runners touched lightly and the rest set firmly on the ground.
The following dreams of flying were forever changed. Now, in my dreams, I could still be light as the air I navigated, but now I could swoop and dive with speed and force. I could circle and loop, fly forward and backward, and as long as I flew there was nothing but me, and God who seemed to enjoy watching me fly.