The ocean wind stretches my hair out. Sea salt air brushes my cheeks with dampness. The feeling is cool against my skin; not a frigid dampness that makes me long to seek warmth by a fireplace or to sink myself into a long hot bath. Instead, it’s a refreshing sensation that washes over me: a glad-to-be-alive enthusiasm.
Arms stretched out beside me, they mimic wings of a plane. I rush forward down the sloping cobblestone path through the same medieval stone gates that Kings and troops passed through for over a thousand years. Battles were won and lost through these gates; a plan was created in this small port city in secret tunnels not far from this castle to save hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers in WWII. This small town where water bridges two countries is where history lives.
Here, I am free to be me. Few other tourists have made the trip to see this castle. My arms still stretched out I begin to run left to right, then right to left. Repeat. I am carefree and fearless. It doesn’t bother me what other tourists or companions think of me.
I summon the spirits of the Wright brothers who bravely set to launch the first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. I am Louis Blériot the first man to cross the English Channel in 1909 where an outline of his plane commemorates the achievement not far from here. I am Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and who dared to dream to fly around the world.
I am over thirty years old. And today, I am free.