By John A. Brennan
Intoxicated with unbridled madness, a dreamer returned from a pilgrimage, a sojourn, high in the Mourne mountains. Back to reality, back to his brother and their bicycle shop. Back to his small, unremarkable village in the valley. This dreamer had made the pilgrimage many times before; had basked in the ever-present silence, had given his thoughts free rein, let them soar. The crisp bracken snapping underfoot, the fresh wind buffeting his face, invigorated and filled him with optimistic fervor. He felt as one with the mountains, the sky and the cosmos. But this time something was different, he was different, he had changed. Giddy and lightheaded he wondered, just for an instant, am I going mad?
Strolling through the ‘silent valley,’ he rested near a patch of gorse, the yellow blooms vibrant in the afternoon sun. Eyes turned upward and scanned the cloudless sky. Marveled as two hawks wheeled and
circled high above, wide-spread wings in silhouette against the sharp blueness. If only I could do that. On down, down through a thick carpet of heather, in the distance, the small lime-washed cottage.
A row of new bicycles lined up outside the shop.
Watched the sunlight glinting off the frames. Watched his brother, leaning over the stone bridge, gazing at the flowing stream beneath. I wonder what he’s thinking? The dreamer’s mind took him on a fantastical flight of fancy, transported him to a far-off land, a land across the wild, grey Atlantic Ocean.
Thought of two other brothers and a place called Kitty Hawk, in that moment, right then, right there, in that place, the dreamer knew he had to fly.