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Flights of Fancy

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John, at age nine, spends long summer hours lying on his back in the shade-dappled yard. Between the leaves of the maple trees, the sky looks very blue and far away. He can almost imagine that the birds flying past are actually swimming, and that he’s looking down instead of up.

Almost. Could, if not for the weight of the earth against his shoulders and the inevitable grass-stains.

His mother takes him to the lake sometimes. The water there is clear-grey, not blue, but he swims and pretends that he’s flying; watches the fish swim underneath the dock and daydreams.