Her “wingspan” is roughly 5 feet. This, she knows, because she once wrapped her arms around the maple tree in her front yard (spiders and ants be damned), her left-hand fingertips barely kissing the finger tips of her right hand-and then, afterwards, stringing her 60” plastic tape-measure around the girth of moss covered trunk, the two metal-bound ends of ribbon-like lime green plastic barely kissing as well.
At the time, she’d hugged that tree jealously. Envying the way it was rooted with such certainty to the ground, when she herself had nothing so without question with which to ground herself-and wingspan didn’t even enter into the equation.
But that was before she discovered the albatross. Soaring on wings measuring 11 feet, tip to tip. Soaring for years without ever seeing land. Soaring great distances like it was nothing.
She’d never before viewed the short flight of the helicoptering maple samara as a limitation. Never thought that being grounded might be an albatross of a different feather.
And never before had she admitted to herself that five feet of wingspan wasn’t going to work any more.