She noticed the changes coming on gradually: her skin growing drier, almost crinkly, and strangely ruddy. At first, she simply attributed it to age (and vanity), but when the spots appeared, she grew concerned. What was happening?
Contemplating the circumstances, she didn’t feel old, but realized that – if she were being honest – she was in the Autumn of her life. Damn it, she thought, I’m not ready to face my mortality.
As time passed, she noticed an odd feeling of lightness – as though she could, if she really wanted, take flight. She thought about the times she’d enjoyed the feeling of sunshine on her skin, a fresh breeze brushing by, and how she’d gently sway in a dreamy dance. She thought she could just stay as long as she wanted, but a sense of restlessness grew within her.
One day, while she daydreamed of the beautiful birds she’d seen, she became unmoored. It was disorienting at first, the sensation of falling, and she was briefly alarmed…but it gave way, soon, to exhilaration: she was flying! Against a blue fall sky, she was a kite, a swooping bird. Lasting but a few moments, she lived a lifetime in that journey.
At the end, she found herself on terra firma. She had landed, and her adventure had come to a close. She looked around and saw many others like her, which gave her comfort. As she drifted away, she thought to herself: it was more than I expected. And she was content.
See the inspiration for this piece here.