Thursday, February 19, 2009
The First Time I Flew
I was enjoying one last glass of wine on the steps of the porch, listening to the light wind move the leaves in the trees down by the road. He walked up the drive in his long black coat, making me aware the evening was cooling off. I pulled my black lace shawl close around my shoulders. "Can I share your wine?" he asked. I handed the glass to him. We talked a while about little things, nothing really. He handed my wine glass back to me. I finished the bit of wine remaining and set the glass on the step. "Fly with me." he said. As I was thinking what he meant by that, wondering if he had a pilot's license or if he meant taking a trip somewhere, he flicked open his hand. Long black feathers streamed from his fingers and along his forearm. I looked to his face, where his nose was a long black beak and his eyes were shiny black, glistening. He shrugged his shoulders and lifted his elbows, and his arms were wings. He folded them behind his back, and said to me again, "Fly with me." As I was thinking that I would love to if only my shawl were magic, I looked down to pull it closer around me and opened my hand to see that it too streamed with feathers. A little stunned, I spread open my shawl that was now long black flight feathers covering my arms and hands, and the unexpected force of feather against air rocked me gently. He opened his black wings and lifted off, raised them high, and pushed down. Flapping, he rose, flew over me, circling back around. I spread my wings too, and pressed them against the air, and rose with him. We flew in the moonlight over the rustling trees, gliding along the creek, past the big oak, down to the lake, swooping low, then climbing high, soaring, sailing, and returning along curving lines of the creek to land, back in the yard. "Thanks for the wine" he said, as he pulled his coat around himself and began to button it. I watched him leave down the drive, then turned myself, gathering my shawl to me as I went inside with the empty glass.