The Flight


Flying never came easy for me. Oh yes.  I really can fly. Always have. But unlike the superhero who glides effortlessly, hands outstretched steering the way,  I felt more like a hapless swimmer stroking against a current. I was airborne, sure, but I never truly soared.

I was always left spent. Never uplifted. 

 In younger days, after some beers and a few shots, I would fly on a dare or as a parlor trick. Eventually, simply worn out, I stopped altogether.  

Last night I started out the evening like most others; that is nodding off in my living room after a warmed up dinner of leftovers and a TV marathon of Animal Kingdom.

Was it the pepperoni?  ( I sleep restlessly if I eat too late) Whatever it was, I awoke to a sensation.  Shall we call it a sensation?

I was being summoned(?). No this isn't the word.  Whatever the word,I felt  pulled up into the world to fly again.   I'm older now, 60, so what was uncomfortable back then is painful now. Tomorrow would require ibuprofen. I already knew that.

Nevertheless, I flew, struggling through a dark sky until I saw sunlight.  Oddly, my stroke (I call it that;sometimes resembling a breast stroke or a crawl) eased a bit and my flight felt smoother.

Soon, ( I am talking hours since that first bite of pizza) my mission became clear.  Small blue shapes below came into focus.  From my vantage point, I saw leagues of elephants, mothers and their young, moving straight into the path of poachers.  Coincidentally I had been watching a story on this just before nodding off.

I knew my purpose.  I was to corral the beasts.  A straightforward task once you identify the female leaders. Without words (there would be no hearing at the altitudes I travelled), the creatures seemed to understand my task and shared in the urgency. 

I moved in front. At this point, I felt no discomfort.  Gliding. Was I gliding?  I think so.

And I did what needed to be done.  Across a plain, near a forest.  A reserve. (It's billionaire owner had declared it a poacher-free zone.  That was on the same show). Effortlessly I led each to safety.  

So. I flew again.

 It turns out, it seems,  I only needed a reason. 


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