For my last big birthday I went hang gliding. Not the most obvious choice for me, as I’m not great with heights, but it was something I’d wanted to do for a long time.
When I was a lot younger, I’d dreamed about being able to fly (if I had a superpower, that’s still the thing I’d like to be able to do!) and it seemed to me that hang gliding was the closest you can get to that. So my husband and my dad arranged it for me.
When you’re up in the air, it’s almost impossible to think about anything else – you’re too busy experiencing the moment. Surprisingly, I felt very secure – hanging in the harness it felt almost as though I was being held.
Equally surprising, when I was allowed to steer it was almost like controlling a living thing. I’d expected knobs and levers, but you steer by shifting your body weight – a bit like riding a horse. It was a fabulous experience, and I went round with an enormous grin on my face for about a week afterwards.
I’m interested in the symbolism of dreams (though I don’t often remember mine). Dreams about flying signify conquering your fears, personal freedom, new opportunities or future potential.
Freedom was definitely part of the feeling I had, but it was combined with safety – I trusted the equipment and the instructor, and felt very safe.
What does freedom mean to you, and where do you find it?
How do you balance freedom and safety – is there a trade off?
Which do you value most? And is there something you’ve dreamed of doing that you haven’t managed yet?
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