I make sense of it through the imagery of dreams.
I’m sitting at the edge, my legs dangling from the cliff, my heels drumming the rock, echoes spiralling down. The wind whispers through my hair.
I plant my hands behind me, and push myself. Friction grabs me back, but I persist. I drop. The wind now howls its way into my head. My legs dangle, free of gravity’s grasp.
I’m off the edge.
As I write these words, the little plane icon on my seat’s monitor is inching its way towards the International Date Line in the Sea of Bering. Twelve hours earlier, Helene and I boarded a plane from Montreal to Chicago, then from there to Tokyo, Japan. I busy myself with the minutiae of international flight – customs, timetables, body stretches – to distract my mind from the immensity of what is happening to us.
On this day, September 7th 2009, Helene and I have completed the last push that took us off the edge of our previous life. Today, we have become world nomads, on the first step of a one-year journey. This is the result of ten months made in equal parts daydreams and plans, of fears and hopes. We deconstructed our daily routine until we left ourselves out of a home and out of jobs. The total sum of our worldly possessions amounts to thirty cardboard boxes in a storage locker, and two backpacks small enough to make it as carry-on.
In more ways than one, it feels as if we have jumped off a safe, comfortable mountaintop, and the air is now rushing around us.
But I have dreamed enough of this to know better than fear.
For if you dream of flight enough, one day you wake up with wings.