This is Only the Beginning

November 30, 2020
This is Only the Beginning

“What is that silver streak in the sky?”

“It’s an airplane” my mother answered. “There are people inside.” My four-year-old self could barely take in her words. How could that possibly hold people? If this was true, I made a vow then and there, that I would one day be inside one of those silver tubes streaking across the sky.

Life carried on, and it felt like a few lifetimes before I could keep that promise to my younger self. My sense of freedom was subsumed in efforts to survive. First, my mother unexpectedly told me I had to leave home, the rationale was a mystery for many years.

But my new life in New York City and then Massachusetts, was a welcome change from a dreary lonely life with a single depressed mother and distant sister. A few years later my father said, “break up with your boyfriend or leave home.” Off I flew, as only I
knew how, to live with a girlfriend.

In a short time, I was married. My focus was on somehow being the perfect wife to an abusive husband. He was also the father to my three wonderful children so for many years my wings were clipped. My spirit was not, however. Deep inside, the image of the silver bird resided alive.

The day came when I knew I had to divorce my husband.

The day came when I knew I had to divorce my husband.

Now, the plan started to unfold. In the 1970’s women were not allowed to have a credit card. My minister signed for me. Step 1, done. How to buy a ticket? I was led to a travel agent who graciously took care of me then, and for many future flights as my wings unfurled.

I found someone to take care of my children, called my step aunt, uncle and precious grandmother. They were the only relatives I knew, the only folks who lived a plane trip away.

As every cell in me sparked alive, I knew the seed planted so long ago was about to blossom. I was going to fly. This was more than an adventure, it was the beginning of a new aspect of life.

After what seemed an eternity my body dazedly holding my packed bag, filled with surprise gifts, across the tarmac, entering the door of a plane!

In those days, we were offered a glass of champagne. As I looked down into the sparkling liquid, my hand wrapped tightly around the glass, my entire body sparkled in return. The words in my head said, “This is only the beginning.” I was giggling so much my fellow passengers looked curiously my way, probably thinking the alcohol was the cause. No, it was the knowledge that childhood dreams do come true. As I relaxed back into my seat, flowing with lift off sensations, taking in puffy clouds, the sun rays bouncing off the planes wings, my thoughts shouted, “I’m flying!”

Yes, the visit was heartwarming. Still, the frosting remains, as my eyes take in the sky above, just as that little girl did, so long ago gleeful at the way a silver tube has changed my life. Many countries, many cultures explored over a lifetime.

Many countries, many cultures explored over a lifetime.

Did that little girl already know one of life’s secrets? Be true to your self and experience the freedom of flying, daily.


Photo credit for This is Only the Beginning by


About Judith Donovan

Judith Donovan is a retired Clinical Social Worker. She currently divides her time living in Costa Rica with visiting her children, grandchildren and five great-grandchildren in various parts of the U.S. Judith is grateful to have the time to write her memoirs plus travel experiences. She is also a dedicated meditator, and besides attending retreats, mentors those wanting to deepen the gift of meditation in their lives.

One thought on “This is Only the Beginning

  1. February 21, 2022

    Loved this story! Thank you for sharing!

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