At 12:01 AM this morning I felt joy. A smile of light came from my heart and came out of my mouth with a sound. The emotion reminded me that I am still that little girl who believes she can fly. My breath relaxed my shoulders. My arms embraced the space before me and wrapped themselves around me. I was there. I was whole. Of all the days in the year, today I claimed as mine. I knew that tomorrow and the next 364 days I would share with the rest of the world. But today would be mine.
I went to bed and fell asleep after tossing and turning a little less than the night before. When I awakened I opened my eyes to a view of the ceiling. Again. I was that little girl who’d lain on the floor and wondered how life would be if the ceiling were the floor. The furniture would remain in place. The windows would be lower, and I’d have to step over doorways. I knew that I could live in a house like that. I would adapt.
Today, I am that little girl still. Today I hang upside down on a jungle gym and let my blouse fall down around my armpits. I spin and stop. Spin and stop. Spin and spin and lose track of exactly where I am. Today I climb boulders and conquer the back yard. I find friendship in butterflies and solace in the sound of the wind in the trees. Today is the day I wonder what ifs and laugh my answers out loud so that everyone can hear.
Today, I am that little girl still. The one who loses herself in time. The one who believes her own explanations. She has run around the sun 63 times—spinning and skipping and jumping. Cape flying behind her. She yells a charge that transforms into song. Then she lands at the end of the day and walk back into her shoes. Fearless. Determined. Whole and still there.