Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Carol Hoorn
When Jean Arthur played Peter Pan at the Cleveland Playhouse, I was twelve and yet not embarrassed to jump out of my seat and shout that I believed in fairies. I have never given up the dream that I will fly one day before I die. No, not to Heaven, but here on this Planet, I will fly just above the tree-lined streets. Floating down occasionally to rest in my bower of choice, watching children at play and in the evenings nestled closer to the stars and clouds where I plan to join The Man At The Back Of the North Wind. I first read about him when I was six in a shiny red storybook, and knew right away that he was my real grandfather patiently waiting with open arms and a long white beard for me to just float out my bedroom window one night to join him.
It was also when I first began to believe that I would fly one day. Not like Superman, arms outstretched, but straight up, my Buster Brown shoes just skimming over the trees. Almost every summer day, I would run to the vacant lot in the middle of my block. First I tied a dish towel round my neck, and then tossed a penny from the big jar in our pantry into the abandoned well. I made my wish as I scrambled up to teeter on the chipped stone rim and leaped up, only to crash to earth again and again. Though my knees were always black and blue, my hands sometimes bleeding slightly, I never gave up for six long years.
After seeing Peter Pan, I decided that dreaming about flying was less harmful to my body. I was amazed that during World War II I saw a newsreel that showed how U.S. Army scientists invented what looked like roller skates with tiny rockets so soldiers could fly a few feet off the ground! They flew as I always have dreamed of flying.
I still fly in my dreams; I still believe in Fairies, I talk to flowers, birds and trees, especially the Redwood tree outside my bedroom window which sways so gracefully in the wind and talks me to sleep each evening, reminding me that one day when the stars are aligned exactly right, I shall fly home to where The Man At The Back Of The North Wind still waits for me, arms outstretched, his long white beard not quite hiding his gentle smile.
Carol Hoorn writes, "Washington Irving once said: 'I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories.' I, for one, believe that everything I write helps to either heal or inspire me to work harder at this craft."
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