When I was a child, I could run like the wind.
I have been sleeping so soundly, due to exhaustion at the end of the day, that I haven’t been remembering my dreams. But this morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, those were the words that came to me.
Strange, I know. And they keep running through my mind. Over and over again. As though someone whispered them to me, and there is a reason I must try to remember them.
Yes, I could. Run with abandonment. Run in relay races. Run for the sake of merely running. Because that’s just what children do. When they could walk, they’d rather skip or jump or run.
Or bounce in excitement on the edge of a row boat, without fear, and suddenly fall backward.
I guess we all run from things. People we are angry with. People who have hurt us. Ourselves. Run from ourselves because we don’t want to accept things and have no way to change them. For some things are simply beyond our control.
The winds are certainly fierce in intensity in the state of Oklahoma. Growing up, I didn’t know it was different any place else. The winds would shift and pick up quickly and bend you over as you walked. They brought in thunderstorms and tornadoes.
We had a cellar. One of those that looks like a hump on top of the ground, covered with dirt. It seemed it was always in the dead of night that we rushed into the dank-smelling darkness, kerosene lamps held high, and found a place to sit out the storm.
You’d hear the mighty winds whipping things around the yard. You wondered if you’d ever see them again. Because that’s just how strong the winds are here.
There was not much to do. And no one really has anything to say as they wait for it to pass. I’d sit and stare at the glint of light the kerosene lamp cast on the many rows of canned food stored up for winter.
I tried not to look in the corners, for there were always cobwebs and Daddy Long Leg spiders (an arachnid with a globular body and long thin legs) walking robotically with their thin-as-a-pin legs like they were on stilts. I feared them. With each move they made, I worried they would walk up my leg and I wouldn’t see them.
Eventually the storm would pass. You’d know because the winds died down slowly but surely, until you no longer heard it trying to lift the cellar door, as though trying to pry life from underground. You waited a bit because there was always the chance you’d walk up the steps and the mercurial gales would lift you up and throw you across the yard.
You can run like the wind, but you can’t out run a storm, that is for certain.
I look outside and the sun is no longer shining. It is gray and overcast. Spring brings thunderstorms. April showers bring May flowers. But spring also heralds the onset of tornado season.
I do a lot of running and flying in my dreams. And I’m quite sure I could not out run the wind. But when you are a child, you try anyway.
Because anything is still possible when you are young.