|Age 7 - with my pig Molly|
in my dreams. I lived there for the first 18 years of my life; have lived elsewhere for 30 years more. Yet in dreams I find myself climbing the stairs of the old farmhouse, looking out my bedroom window toward the barn (which remains standing when I sleep, even when my consciousness intrudes, reminding me of the fire), or exploring the secret attic passageways which are always bigger and more elaborate than they were in real life (also stuffed with treasure I always dreamed of finding).
Last night I was there with my son. He was still a small boy, and I was younger too. We were pulling long, thin boards from the biggest attic and talking about all the things he might build with them. I kept thinking the scene felt familiar. I told him about building a helicopter when the room was being remodeled for my brother. In real, waking life, the construction must have taken place when I was three or four. I did build a helicopter in that room. I nailed two boards together to form a letter X. I attached them to a larger board and added a small piece crosswise for the tail. I could spin the propeller with my hand and felt tremendous satisfaction with my creation.
I also visited a memory of jumping, years later, from a stack of bricks built with my cousins. We were flying then too. I don’t remember if we had propellers or wings (perhaps we were testing both) but the important part was the moment between jumping and landing, the brief span of time where I believed that anything--even flight--was possible.
As I woke, I told myself to hold on to the lesson, to remember that I built a helicopter when I was only four, and to hang on to even the littlest moments, those times when anything feels possible.