Taking Flight

Here, it is peaceful. There are no voices, only white noise. Plants sway with the wind, allowing themselves to be moved by it, allowing themselves to dance to the melody they hear, the beat they feel. Little ripples form on the man-made lake as birds scoop a handful of water into their beaks, and as they grow larger and move farther away from their origins, they crash onto the grassy shore and retreat, hitting other ripples, starting a war none of them can run away from.

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People pass by me, on bikes, on legs, pretending to mind their own businesses, looking at the same man-made lake I am looking at. Birds glide on air, wings beating then pausing, allowing the draft of air to lift them up and keep them afloat on this never-ending sea. They swoop down, wings on hold, then beat them again as though they’re afraid of hitting the ground. I wonder how it feels like to be up in the sky, no machinery to keep me going, no windows to separate me from these clouds, no airline company owning whatever it is I’m riding. In this moment, I felt small. These birds, though tiny in comparison, had the ability, the power, to escape, to never be caught, to never be reached or touched. One moment, they are on grass, picking at plastic wrappers and old clothing and worms and wildflowers, then in the next, they’ve already taken off in the blink of an eye, without even the moment noticing it.

These clouds, which were smaller earlier have now made the distance and showed their entirety, massive and vast, crossing the oceans, changing its colors. Rain. Heavy rain was coming. Unwanted, but persistent in its course. The clouds were bigger than expected, like scattered smaller clouds that have united to cover half the sky. The winds, warm and welcomed at first, were now cold and breached the first layer of skin, touching my muscles and casting a spell on them, making them shiver relentlessly. The rain was fast approaching, its cold wet scent already here, announcing its arrival.

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As the sky changed its hues, from a pastel blue to an iridescent cerulean, I was left to sit still on the grass, wildflowers springing around me, dandelions losing themselves to the wind. I was unable to fly away, unable to beat my wings and escape this place as rain started falling and washed away the dirt and mud and oil which had soaked my skin for a while now.

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