When I was a child, I would lay awake at night and stare at my ceiling. After a while, I could feel my body lift off the bed, the sheets sliding off me as I was raised higher and higher. I would float up towards the smooth surface of the ceiling. The roof would smile at me, rise up, and let me pass.
I rolled myself over and over in the air and I would go. I would go to the ocean or the forest or the highest mountain in the Alpines. I would explore new places and discover strange new things. Sometimes I would just sail along by myself, other times I would help people who were in trouble. Once, because he asked so nicely, I even visited the president and gave him advice about running the country.
As I flew over the plains and the mountains, I would see houses, sound asleep and perfectly still. Sometimes a child would be at the window waving at me. If I touched their hand, they could fly too, and off they went, into the sky.
Sometimes I would become sleepy when I was out at night. I would fly to a beach or find a grassy place in the forest to rest. The fireflies and stars would entertain me and dance around me. The wind made music for us to dance to. Sometimes I would fall asleep there on the beach or in the forest, but I would always wake up in my own bed. My mother would find leaves on my pillow or salt spray in my hair. She never really understood why.
I don’t know why I stopped flying. It just happened. I would look up at my ceiling, waiting for my body to rise up to meet it, but it would never happen. The harder I tried, the more unfamiliar the ceiling became. I miss flying. But one day, when I find leaves on my daughter’s pillow or salt spray in my son’s hair, I will say to them “I used to fly like peter pan, all the children flew when i touched their hands”.