Daily Helicopter Rides

Every morning, I blow-dry my hair. I hold the dryer above my head and wiggle it from side to side, so as to not burn my head. When I pay attention, I can hear a familiar sound. Flap. Flap, flap, flap. It’s a sound I know from the movies, and from opening the car window just a little when going at high speed: The sound of a helicopter.

If I imagine the air was a little colder, the wind a little stronger, and the noise a little louder, within a second, there I am: Grand Canyon.

The view is magnificent. Mountains, rocks, crevices, it all stretches as far as I can see. I can hear the steel bend under the strain of the mechanical forces propelling the machine. I can feel my stomach jump as the open side tilts towards the ground. Is that a group of hikers down there? No, they have horses!

I lean back on the small bench. I hear the white noise in the bulky headphones they make you wear. I feel the wind ripping through the open sides of our gravity-defying device. And all the time, that hammering sound that becomes calming once you let it in: flap, flap, flap.

I open my eyes. I’m still in my bathroom. Still 30 years old, not eight. Or am I?

My dad and I have been planning to go on a real helicopter ride for six years. Sometimes, life happens. That’s okay. I can ride helicopters each day. So can you, by the way.

Your imagination is stronger than you think. Don’t let anyone tell you how to use it. Create joy out of thin air – or the one coming out of your blow dryer.

If a child would do it without hesitating, it’s probably the right thing to do.