I can fly: Adapting to physical limitations
Outside the door of my childhood farmhouse stood a set of wooden steps leading to our clothesline platform. My father installed the clothesline high off the ground to keep the clothes from dragging, hence the need for steps and a platform.
When I was a child, I wrapped a towel around my neck like a Superman cape, climbed those steps, stood on the edge of the platform and made a wish to fly like Superman. Every time, I jumped from the top and landed—plop—on the ground.
Gravity was not my friend.
I’m not sure how old I was, but probably younger than 6. I can remember really wishing to fly and really believing that it just might happen; we lose that kind of magical belief around age six.
We humans have some common physical limitations—none of us can fly that I’m aware of—and other individual physical challenges—size, gender and illness all come into play. Sometimes it takes a long time to accept what can’t be ours; all these years later I’m still disappointed that I can’t set my feet and push off into the heavens.
Because we don’t want to accept those limitations, we push boundaries to achieve the most we can with what we’ve got. We learn to balance the cannot-ness of our physical realities with the can-ness of our spirit and mind potentials. When we do, we come up with ingenious adaptations. As a result, lo and behold, now I can fly if I need to, with a little help from the Wright brothers and Air Canada.
I can fly, just not in the way I expected.
It’s an ongoing balancing act: accepting the “what is” of our physical realities with not accepting the “what that means” as a result. Humans can’t fly all on their own, but they can fly another way.
Do you remember the TV show I Dream of Jeannie? How many of us would hold our arms in front of us and blink like Jeannie, hoping that the blink would transport us instantly from one place to another? How about Bewitched? Did you wiggle your nose and wish for the same? And, of course, there’s Star Trek. Can you hear the sound of the transporter in your mind? Don’t you wish teleportation were real? I do.
Teleportation is not a physical reality for us yet, but we humans don’t like accepting limitations. Maybe my grandchildren will have a much easier commute to work thanks to the mind and spirit work of others.
I choose to dream and believe in that magic.