JumpingI am in my bedroom as a child. It is my special, private place and although my parents don’t really respect my privacy, I still have my hidey places and secret caches. I love my bed; it is the one place in which I am not interrupted by humans.

I reveled in the worlds that opened up for me at night, and I couldn’t wait to slide into the realms where I could be king or Peter Pan, and where all my wishes came true. Probably my greatest joy was flying. The memories I have of flying around my room exploring the cobwebs and tiny cracks in the ceiling still give me much pleasure.

I often played a game with myself whenever I was alone, and if it felt right. I would lie in my bed, and my goal was to revolve my body one hundred and eighty degrees, without moving my physical body, so that I ended up with my head occupying the same space as my feet, and my feet were where my head was. I had to concentrate very hard, otherwise there was a chance I would suddenly lose my focus, and then there would be a terrible sensation of falling, a brutal jerk, and I could end up with a headache for hours.

I allowed myself to float upwards, only an inch or two off the bed, and I would feel a sort of bobbing sensation. Then I willed my floating self to revolve. It was quite easy to do, if I didn’t get into my head, which was dying to ask alls sorts of distracting questions like, “you can’t possibly turn around in your bed… the blankets will get in the way!”

If I denied my rational side, my process would usually unfold slowly but surely. When I approached ninety degrees, with the top half of my body hanging off the bed into space, I felt very exposed and vulnerable. I had to concentrate on what I was doing, otherwise I easily got scared, and there was a real risk of suddenly losing it. If all went well, I would reach my goal and could see my head at the bottom of my bed, where my feet were. I suppose it was quite a bizarre thing to do, but it also felt very right and I would feel proud of my success.

Then there were the stormy nights when the wind was howling outside and rain hammered in waves on the window. I allowed my imagination free reign and could see the leaves tumbling through the air and the clouds rolling past. The trunks of the trees in the garden split the rushing, solid air, and they swayed and bent in torment; moans of pain and ecstasy crescendoed in waves of outrageous sound, outside in the dark, exciting night. I snuggled deep into the bedclothes and felt very cozy.

And then I would find myself outside in the grassy yard, still in the cosy comfort of my bed, sheltered from the worst of the wind by the apple trees. I don’t know how this happened, but it was very cool. I experienced the wildness of the storm and would feel its power, yet I would be dry and protected. Then I would fall asleep in the arms of my loving friend I call nature, immersed in the most exhilarating of environments yet feeling warm and looked after.

I remember the time I broke out of the confines of my house for the first time, flying over the lawn and then down the lane towards the main road. I flew over the fields and rivers to the northwest, reveling in my feelings of complete freedom of movement in three dimensions, and the rushing of the air over my super-sensitive skin. I flew high over the landscape I know so well, seeing it from a brand new perspective. I landed in a beautiful orchard which seemed to attract me in an unusual, compelling way. The river Exe flowed along its lower boundary, and I felt at home there.

When I woke up, I was filled with excitement. I had remembered a particular detail I saw while flying down the lane the night before, and wanted to check it out. Three old tyres were lying on the roof of an old barn two hundred yards down the road from our house: there is no way I could have seen them under normal circumstances, from ground level, and I wanted to find out if my flight was “real”.

I climbed the side of the barn and reached the top. Sure enough, there were three tyres on the corrugated iron roof. After that I never doubted, and considered my flights as perfectly real and natural. What a gift!