When have I felt perfectly free?
Swimming underwater when I was a child, feeling the coolness, seeing the blue vagueness through open eyes, my body stretching forward near the bottom of the pool as my arms pulled and my feet paddled me to the other side.
I imagine that freedom even now when I am in need of comfort. I go to that place in my brain and swim not in a pool but in a river with colorful fish and wavy water plants and no fear of running out of air.
I also imagine flying high up in the air, arms outstretched, wind buoying me up, and my sailing across the land, able to see the trees and rivers and fields from far above. Such an exuberant feeling that is.
I also remember flying down the sidewalk on my big red tricycle and feeling that same freedom to go as fast my little legs could pump, feeling the air in my face, sending my hair streaming behind me. What fun that was. And then later, riding down the street on my bicycle, sailing past shrubs and trees and driveways and houses as I pedaled fast and furious, just for the pure fun of it.
Another time I felt truly free was up in my brother’s airplane, which he allowed me to guide. High above the Pacific, flying down the coast, the blue water glinting with sunlight and the roads filled with cars far below. What luxury to experience that effortless movement through the air.
All modes of traveling, my experiences with freedom, the same as I feel on a cross-country road trip, with no place to be and no particular time to get anywhere and living in the in-between spot where time is suspended for just a little while.
Not unlike swimming underwater in that pool – knowing I must reach the other side in due time, but for just those moments, the journey is all that matters, not the destination.