I remember how it felt to fly,
every swing a portal to blue sky,
every whoosh and whoop
inhale and exhale
a cycle of levity and gravity in perfect balance.

I remember the delight of beach days
my summer sifted toes
deep in sand restructured by waves and salt,
an endless connection to horizon and possibility,
the sense of being part of something great
and greater.

I spent a good portion of my thirties
lamenting the loss of the unbridled,
with a sense that I was tethering myself
by accident
on purpose
that I was losing some integral part of self
because I didn’t do now
what I did then,
as though I was happier when I carried less
as though I was less for carrying more.

But I don’t know if happy can be measured like that,
By not knowing what’s missed.
When I was young and existed for a world
measured in how high swings swung
Even gravity couldn’t keep me down.

Yesterday, while walking home amidst winter in the sunshine,
I was careful with my placement
gentle with my footprint,
the way I would never have been
when I was little and light,
fearless and free
from the concept of consequence

When I fall,
I don’t heal as quickly as I used to,
and I don’t know if it’s because the wounds go deeper
Or I can carry more.

The absence of the things I used to do
Isn’t the result of forgetting how to fly
So much as a shifting perception of
how it feels to be free.

Photo by Luke Chui on Unsplash