When I was younger I used to love swings. My parents would take my brother and me to the park and we would race each other to see who could get their legs highest first. I remember focusing hard on the sky above me, urging every fiber of my being to stretch, to grasp for that blue nothingness, as if by reaching I could somehow be among the stars I imagined were twinkling even when I couldn’t see them. I loved the feel of the wind rushing against my face and tugging at my hair, filling me with energy and life, and I wanted to work harder and harder to keep that feeling there, to keep the air alive. When I was soaring through the blue I felt as though I were flying through time, and all my cares (what few I had then) dropped to the ground like so many raindrops on a stormy day. But eventually my leg muscles would tense up, the furious pumping of my legs would weaken, and I would find myself back on the ground where I started, breathless and empty, the stars millions of miles away.
Now that I’m older I don’t swing anymore. I miss the breeze filling my lungs, the hair dancing around my face. I miss taking off from the ground, my feet free in space. I wonder if I tried to swing now, could I even leave the ground? I’ve been earth-bound far too long.