A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

We had a swing when I was younger. It helped to pass the time in the summer, along with the normal things boys do, soccer, baseball, swimming, Scouts, whatever sounds good. On one particular day, my friends had gone home, or weren't around, so I passed the time like I always would, swinging on a little structure my dad made for us. The weather and time had taken it's toll on those chains, and perhaps I was swinging too aggressively that one day...

A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

A little piece of metal kept me from life and death on those days, and this fine summer day, it failed me. I flew as far as one could expect with such a mechanism. A sidewalk caught my body, my head hitting the stone hard. This Earth did not keep me prisoner any more at that moment, and I was free.

A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

I remember the feeling I had... the separation, the awkwardness. I had new legs and new wings, but could not walk nor fly. It was cold inside, but the sun was warm as ever. It drew me closer to itself.. I could feel it. A deafening silence as my ears were no longer a part of me. Feelings, internal senses, light and sense and vertigo and truth surrounded me, but no hearing or touch held me near. All that I was spared was my eyesight...

A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

A shadow of my former vision was lent to me. A body was there, on the ground. A shape so familiar to me, as it was my own. Cold shivers of horror came over me as my mortality was brought before me. My mind racing with thoughts of my untimely end was cleared to be given but one more choice... Accept the warmth from above, and let it quench the inner coldness, or fight with all of your soul to take one more breath. Is this God? Is this the end? The question was muddy but the choice was clear....

A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

"NO! I don't want to die! Too young..." Thoughts interrupted by other ones. Partial feelings of sorrow, regret, fear, but no pain... My ability to feel physical pain was surrendered to this form I had come to inhabit. For once in my life I searched for it... sought it ought. "My body cannot be that far detached from me," I felt. My spirit felt week... "Must push. I will draw another breath... I choose life, DAMMIT. Not yet, not now!"

A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

A gasp of air into my lungs... Noises returning at first, getting louder, the sounds of life fill my newbound ears. The buzz of a hornet's nest settling into my brain. Dust-filled air being gasped at for sheer life. The pavement under my head, damp with my blood. Pain... the mortal pain I had longed for finally come back to me.. sharp and bitter, but comforting all the while. I don't know how long I was dead for, but I know that was death now, as I did then. My parents never remembered that day, but I will never forget it. I have felt the urge to leave again several times, but I have fought it, each with increasing difficulty. It's an interesting feeling to know your spirit and feel life leave you and come back. An ironic suggestion I'd give to anyone would be to die, just once, it leaves you different. I've never been more alive, then when I was almost dead.

A long time ago, under the shady tree in my yard, I was dead.

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