I was sitting alone, the night cold and unforgiving in its silence and gloominess. I was thinking of the past, tears rolling down my cheeks every now and then. I knew of the sins of my past, I knew of the pain I’d caused every one of my past friends (who’d since turned into venomous foes of everything mine). I was breathing hard, but it felt like the air couldn’t make it past my throat – the sadness filling my entire self wouldn’t let the ether comfort me with new life. I felt like I would suffocate, seated there in the open, facing out at the darkness above – at those impersonal, twinkling stars, so far and out-of-reach. Sitting there thinking of myself, it felt like misery deserved yet a more somber name, but I couldn’t even conceptualize anything! What pathetic sadness I felt… I cried.
But, as the tears rolled, something played with those wet pellets… I felt like occasionally, a very soft, almost tingling puff of air would play with the skin of my face, but I hardly noticed from whence it originated. As the sadness intensified, so did this soothing, counteracting interruption occur, more and more often. Then I took notice; there was something about me in that sad moment; something was sharing in my solitariness and gloom, except, where I felt pain, it would reciprocate with a playful, teasing touch of soothing air.
I bit my lip for thinking I could wish my way out of such sadness, but no, I realized I couldn’t cause myself more pain than I already felt burdening my heart, and so I swallowed the bits of blood forming on my lips, and hoped, wished, something or someone, anywhere, could lift me up towards the stars, and maybe rid me of this bitterness and self-hatred. The wish was sincere – my mind and heart concurred.
As would happen when one sits still for more than an hour, and especially in the deep hours of the night; with no other people in sight and not a single motion of interest disturbing the monotonous motif, sleep started to ambush me. First I didn’t realize it, but then I knocked my head in an automatic jolt as I dozed into the wall behind me… the heat of that impact I could sense from the front of my head, and I was getting pissed with myself. I knew I should have been in bed, but at the same time, it seemed like bed would be the worst means of recovering from my dire state…
And then, a wind, no, not the same tiny puffs anymore, but a strong wind, raged all about the place for no apparent reason, and from no particular side! That’s when I realized I really ought to have retired to bed already. I was standing up - heading back into the house, having had enough of the night outside, but as I clutched the door knob, something tugged me backwards as though to make me fall backwards on my head! I knew it – finally, I’d met with my just punishment, death must have come for me at last! I was almost correct…
I fell back as though nothing inside of me could fight – I’d lost all hope already anyways. But, instead of hitting the concrete floor (an impact that would have lethally out-done the dizzy knocks of my head on the wall a while before), I simply, and really breathtakingly floated in the air! I didn’t hit the floor! I was floating, with a buoyancy I’d never witnessed before, and one I couldn’t explain even to myself - it felt like my heavy self was held afloat, in empty air, by some invisible fluid I couldn’t discern no matter how much I tried, turning about in a mixture of shock and awe.
Then, quick as the fall had come, I felt myself being sucked up and away, by a cool whirl wind that was causing the shrubs, trees and poles in the immediate neighborhood of home to swerve from side to side; some gyrating, others bending over as though in adoration, and still more shaking fervently! Whatever it was in that wind, I didn’t know or see, but something powerful and amazing was happening to me… And with that experience, exhibiting more amazing twists every other moment, the sadness and darkness that’d eaten at my inner self, started to vanish as though I’d been brought into the presence of an illumined essence?
Yes, it had to be something divine… there was no face, no voice, no name to it. But, the force was real! I was carried higher and higher, the tears I’d had rolling down my cheeks due to inner incarceration, replaced by tears of joy as the wind toyed with my eyes, and with my shirt flaring and flapping wildly with the pulsating breeze all about me. That buoyant, exquisite and dreamy feeling of flying in the air (without wings), rocked me from pleasure to pleasure… I felt free and light as a feather! Felt like I’d become a fairy or something of the sort…
The lights of the village were scattered like little fireflies, far down below. I couldn’t see many distinct features given the lack of light in most parts of the vast land below, but I could clearly see the outlines of the hills and valleys delimiting the horizons. I’d never felt such profound love for my place on this daunting rock. In that moment, I wished I could fly anywhere, to any place across the poles and beyond… But, the wind, or the wind fairy, wouldn’t grant me any more wishes beyond the bliss I’d been allowed to experience. I didn’t complain though… Only wished some more.
In total, they must have been like 19 or so breath-taking swirls that I was given in a most unbelievable manner, all about those skies above the village. At some time, I recalled those fantastical Scooby-Doo cartoons in which grisly old ladies would fly about in the air at night, on enchanted broomsticks! I had no broomstick, and so I felt I mustn’t have looked that sinister to anyone witnessing my epiphany. Furthermore, I did feel elated and too some extent, accommodated much pride... I’d never seen or heard of anyone experiencing such encounters, and so, for me to have been living it, really felt not only blessed (by whatever force it was that had granted me the experience), but also dignified.
The altitude kept dropping, I wanted it too, for I’d started to feel dizzy… and I’d been laughing and shouting hysterically as the invisible hands moved me maddeningly about in the air unlike any roller-coaster or other machine I’d ever experienced at the kids park during my long-gone childhood days. Finally, the motions subsided, and I perched down in such a glorious manner – erect, and on my two feet, so as to leave me standing there in the compound, as though whatever it was that had been tossing me about, didn’t want anything happening to ruin the memories I’d returned with.
I will never know who or what it was for sure, as it’s never happened to me ever since. But then, I’ve never returned to my pathetic, dark and gloomy self either – not since that momentous, magical air ride. I took long to return inside the house that night – wondering and hoping I’d get an answer concerning who’d bestowed such an ethereal experience unto me, but the night just looked back at me, utterly helpless (and possibly envious).
It was 4am when I finally retired to bed. I had dreams of flying for the next almost 2 weeks! But, whenever I’d wake up, I’d wonder whether the experience I recalled so vividly from that first night, was but a most lucid (waking) dream? I would never know, but talking about it with a wise man, the native shaman in my village, and one I knew to be gifted in things strange and mystical, he kept emphasizing that I’d been visited by a fairy from my wildest imaginations, and that if I wanted to, I could learn to bring her back some other time in the future. He also indicated that I had the potential to attempt even more daring, more fantastical adventures than that! His words made little sense to me though. For example, he mentioned the word “astral-projection”, which for me, sounded “too arcane a term”, so I told him, but he laughed it off, and said I’d learn about it someday.
And now, here I am sitting, having nothing interesting to do on this boring night, and how I wish I could just fly into the air right now… I close my eyes and wish… imagine or dream. I can fly, away from this moment, right now…
By Joseph Willrich Lutalo