You are the boy who longed to bathe in sunlight and dry off in the cumulus clouds. You are the boy who missed every warning sign. Did you not feel the wax drip down your back? Did you not recall your father’s urgent warnings? You reached the tips of the universe, only to fall from the highest grace. How close was falling to the feeling of flying? How did it feel to claw at the sky, hoping she would forgive you for trespassing?
Do you regret it?
I only ask because I think I understand you on some level. You were not foolish to long for great heights; we are all guilty of wanting for more. How does it feel to be interred into the heart of every person who feels the fire of the sun in their veins? Those like your father will scoff at the idea of being willing to burn for something. They will think they are better than you because they will never crash into the ocean to fizzle out like a misguided rocket. But they will never know what it feels like to soar through the sky and feel so important but so insignificant all at once.
In the movies, they make great leaps of faith look so simple. The hero always prevails. But not you, brave son of Daedalus. You know the feeling of failure better than anyone. Forget scrapes on knees or stumbles upon rocks, you have felt the air ripped violently out from underneath you. I get the feeling, though, that you would do it all over again. You are the boy who so loved the sky that he wished to become it. I am always pulling myself into different directions: the girl who needs two feet firmly on the ground, and the girl who dreams of taking flight and never looking back.
I think about what would happen if I became another drop in the ocean. What is it like down there? Is it quiet among the sea creatures? I know myself enough to believe that, if the roles were reversed, I would not have flown so close to the sun. I would dream and dream of what it would be like to reach such great heights; but, as much as I try, I am not like you. I have let silly pursuits like reason and rationale take over my heart. I tuck every warning sign into my ribcage; you throw them into the wind with every sense of caution. I understand you, but I will never be as brave as you. I have my own ways of enjoying flight, but I will never stop dreaming of what it could be like to dance among the rays of light creeping in through the atmosphere, unafraid of burning or falling.
I have a whole life ahead of me, Icarus; the one you never got to lead. The one that is going to burn just as harshly as the sun, but nurture just as softly as those cumulus clouds you love so much. I know I will crash, but I know how to swim.
I’ll tell your father you love him,
An Anchor With Painted Wings