Have you ever found yourself standing on the edge of a cliff, or atop a tall building, or in a place where the edge of solid meets the edge of sky with no boundaries between them?
In standing in that place with no boundaries, looking outward, did you see the infinite, finite blue, the great expansive disc the never gets closer, however far you travel?
Looking down, did you see the earth below? Did you feel yourself leaning forward a bit more, a bit more, a bit more? Feel the pull of the far distant ground drawing you in? Feel yourself answering the call with tiny steps until you teeter on that line?
I was very young when we flew in the helicopter. The man landed in the yard and frightened the horses and Mom put us in life jackets and into the dragonfly's head and we rose like a bubble and floated out over and around and under and I don't remember where, but I remember the feeling of being up, and being so small, so short, that I had to stretch to see out the window, and I remember sunlight on the water and wonder.
I used to sail. Nothing big, nothing fancy, and nothing requiring more skill than a young, not-yet-teen, then-early-teen could manage. A sunfish, and a four-twenty (I have no idea what it was actually called, only what they called it down at the harbor, and it was bigger than a sunfish and carried a few people and I didn't like it as much). I liked to be alone on the water, skipping across the waves, letting the wind carry me where it would. It was a kind of flying without wings.
I flew on airplanes a lot as a child, shuttled back and forth between family homes. I liked it. Delta was nice but Eastern was my favorite (I mourned them when they shut down). I liked it best when I could look out the window and see clouds below and sky above and feel as if there was no Earth to land upon. I pressed my face against the plastic and wished I could somehow phase through it to the other side, certain that so high up I couldn't fall but would soar. The smaller planes, the puddle jumpers, were even better.
I never feared falling from the sky.
I still don't.
On the edge, feeling tugged, I remember mechanical flight. More, I remember a time, a place, when there was nothing between me and the air. If I let myself take that one last step, gravity will not snatch me to earth, my memory tells me. I will rise, and rise, until I'm just a speck, unfettered by the concerns of the below-world.
It's a leap of faith, though. What was isn't what is, and maybe I will make a resounding splat. The question is, is it worth the risk?
Do I let myself rely on these nebulous memories of flight, or do I remain anchored in place ever more?