She Told me I could Fly

“One day, I had an idea.” This is the first line in a little book my sister gave me for my birthday in May of this year. It was written by Kobi Yamada, entitled, What do you do with an idea? She gave me this gift because she believes in me, from my earliest memories this woman has had my back, and she protects my dreams like well-worn jock strap (A misfit metaphor if there ever was one but it refuses to leave). Nancy is my only sibling, she lives just seven miles away, door to door. We calculated it once for fun. She dragged me to a feng shui class a few years ago and now she claims my qi is off because my door is improperly positioned. Flamboyant and mildly quirky, she has a heart of gold, and I have shamelessly monopolized her patience and affection for over half a century. Just entering a room, Nancy can infuse the atmosphere with enormous compassion, and discernible warmth. She is the hand I reach for when I am happy, bored, bitchy, or despondent. I know her grip is solid and she will not let go.

I have to admit there is comfort in knowing at least one person in this world knows everything about me (the fraudulent weight listed on my driver’s license, my secret infatuation with Donny Osmond, even the stash of chocolate kisses I keep hidden in a tampon box in the bathroom cupboard), and she still loves me without reserve. Hiding is impossible with Nancy because she knows my moves and sees the truth often before it is apparent to me. This is the resiliency of sisterhood. And best of all, when I call her in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep, she acts like this is normal.

The import of this little book is almost too significant to describe. As I opened the exquisitely wrapped package, she sat me down, and insisted I read it from beginning to end. Older sisters are so bossy. After the first read through I looked up, we didn’t speak a word, she just gave me this little nod, and I knew the depth of her fertile generosity. She was willing me to go forth with my work as a writer but I was scared. I have all the normal fears around exposure, and despite behavior to the contrary, I have never wanted people to think I am crazy, off kilter, or worse – full of rubbish. She was begging me to jump! She doesn’t have a great track record with asking me to jump. When she was six (beyond the age of reason) and I was four she told me I could fly. I believed her and jumped off a shallow ledge, resulting in a nasty cut to my upper lip, I still have the scar to prove it. She insists the story is exaggerated but you can understand my hesitancy when she says, “jump.” I overlooked the past, took a leap of faith, and started a damn blog. My fingers actually shook when I hit the publish button for the first time. My husband immediately yelled, “You misspelled corral.” I almost fainted. Then he said, “No, no it’s right.”

“I liked being with my idea. It made me feel more alive, like I could do anything. It encouraged me to think big… and then, to think bigger,” Kobi Yamada. I have been blogging daily for the entire summer. It has been my greatest joy and a disastrous chore. I live in fear that I have used up all my words, there are no more valid experiences to write about, and the three people still reading (mom, Nancy, & Larry) are doing so out of obligation (This might be true). Yamada writes, “Then, one day, something amazing happened. My idea changed right before my eyes. It spread its wings, took flight, and burst into the sky.” This happened just yesterday when Krista Tippett tweeted, “I love your blog.” The power of one’s sister, by blood or by choice, is truly a blessing. The page views lit up like the Rockies during the summer of 2015 and of course I called Nancy to tell her about my new BFF. I think she’s jealous. She said, “Is she bothering you?” Love you my fearless guardian angel, my sister, my friend.

I thought I would do the same for Krista and tell people how much “I love her work.” I’m sure there will be a surge in her page hits. Do yourself a favor and check out On Being with Krista Tippett. She’s wit and wisdom all wrapped up like a gift, she’s an epiphany of delight, and she happens to be my new friend.

The link below is of a beautiful wire sculpture that made me smile.
Who protects your dreams? Leave a tribute in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy: This is a Woman to Love or How have my Children Changed Me?


Leave a Comment

  1. Love it, Cheryl. I also have a sister who is a \”ra-ra\” person for my writing. And knows those crazy things about me that won't ever see the light of day in print!! Nice post. \”my greatest joy and a disastrous chore\” is a superb description of the writing process!!


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