I'm at the beach. The Oregon coastline is rocky and rugged but also dotted with long stretches of lovely, sandy beaches. It’s a place I’ve grown to love above all others since I moved to Oregon.
My guy is learning to launch his paragliding kite a mile down the road from me at the top of a huge sand dune as I type this.
The first time he went paragliding, he told his dad what he wanted to happen to his things if he died. I get the dog and everything else. I swallowed a lump of fear upon hearing this.
I’ve been repeating to myself “We all die someday. Better to live while we can.” I keep picturing his soul being crushed a little while I insist he stays on the ground where he’s “safe”.
Are any of us safe? On the ground or in the air? My realization, over and over, is that we’re actually not. Safe means airtight, isolated, alone, restricted. The only other option is to open the door wide and accept the risk of experiencing life outside a self-built coffin.
So, today, I’ll not only support his desire to fly, but I will fly too. Tandem, with his instructor. It’s interesting how this has such a double meaning. Flying is the ultimate freedom. It’s defying gravity. I will be literally, but also figuratively flying, if I do it; cutting loose from the lines that keep me bound to the ground by fear and rising above it.
Update - It's Sunday as I type this, again at the coffee shop on the beach. I did it! I flew off a cliff over the sea. My heart pounded and my mouth grew dry as I waited for the instructor to shout "GO!" but as the kite lifted off and soared over the beach, I grew completely calm, awe overtaking fear. It was flying, just like in my dreams. Running off the edge of a cliff and soaring instead of falling to the ground felt like just what I needed to experience.
It was the most incredible feeling. I felt free.