I've been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be free.  I used to think freedom meant moving up to a later curfew, having a locker instead of an elementary school desk, getting my license so I could drive for as long and as far as I wanted while playing DJ to my naive teenage thoughts, moving out on my own and drinking coffee like an adult in the morning, being in a relationship, being single, being able to jump down any road at any time or say yes to adventures that popped into my mind late at night.  I believed that freedom meant being far from phrases such as daughter, girlfriend, student, employee that created a cage around who I was versus who I wanted and was trying to be.  It was that I wanted to be all of those things and nothing at the same time, but I wasn't able to wrap my mind around that concept.  I wasn't able to see passed the labels or attachments made to the words and ideas that created concepts of what freedom meant, leaving it a never ending game of cat and mouse to find the wings I yearned for to fly.  
When I was little, I used to see my grandparents backyard as a wild, African safari filled with lions and elephants to then blink and be lost in a world of dragons and lava with stepping stones you had to leap with blind faith to.  How could it be that when I was younger - when less options, capabilities and possibilities were within my span of reach that I felt a sense of free and wild that I was no longer able to tap into in my later years? How was it that I could so willingly jump from one world to the next, so lost in the bliss of lands that were my own that by the time I was called in for dinner or lay my head down to rest at night, my heart rate never rose in fear or unease of who I was and where I was heading? 
These thoughts tossed around my mind like tumbled clouds of technicolour that I knew held buckets of magic if only I could crack them open and spill them out.  
The thing is, in chasing an idea or a concept of what it meant to be free - what it meant to be able to make my own decisions, having my own personal path or preference and attach to no one and nothing but everything at the same time, I was eluding myself into believing that freedom was something that I had to prove or attain rather than something we all have at any given moment in our lives.  
It wasn't because of the lack of responsibility of being a kid gave me that sense of freedom in those early velcro shoes and lunchbox days.  It was the ability to tap into what was actually in front of me, and in accepting it, putting my entire attention into it to make it all my own.  It was that my life was not defined by the things I had the freedom to do, but rather the freedom of perspective I could put on anything I wanted. 
Those backyard days, a soft sheet of grass and a swing set became the rolling hills of faraway lands and a castle I throned my own.  It was that I had no time to worry about what it meant to be a daughter, a sister, a hard worker, a likeable person or even the concept of something missing from my life in order to find a pocket of bliss and freedom sweet like nectar.  
What I've started to realize is freedom lingers in each ticking second that passes of our lives, but our minds are so wrapped up in trying to put labels or draw up mental images of what these concepts mean to us that we pull our capacity to tap into the present moment away.  
When we open our eyes to the now with wild-child like wonder, we see everything as it is all the while for what it could be.  We're able to change mediocre, simple things into captivating wonderous abilities, and then get creative with them to bring even more bewilderment and excitement to our lives.  We're able to feel the wind in our hair, the ground beneath our feet and the beats of our hearts.  We sway easily to songs, we soften our eyes to strangers, we breathe in the air around us like it's filling our lungs with a high no drug could give.  We break from the mentally straining chains that confine us to tiny boxes with printed labels and the clouds clear to a sky that's full of room for everything we are, everything we haven't yet become and everything that we could be.  We see our reflections in the faces of others, and feel the thread of connection between ourselves and everything around us.
Being able to jump a plane to the other side of the world, dance to the latest hour you want or kiss as many strangers as you please is a false illusion of free.  There isn't enough money in the world or material things you can attain that will ever be more than a momentary soar in a sky that you could call home forever.  It all lingers in this moment.  It lingers in our ability to become aware, to become honest and to become wild with creativity in the things happening right here, right now. 
To see the pieces of your freedom in being the daughter, the sister, the friend, the hippie, the hard worker, the loud one, the quiet one and everything in between.  To jump back and forth with abandon between all the things that you are and all the things you will be without fear or awareness of the potential lava below.  To choose to see the fairy tail spin on everything in our lives, and then live out those storylines with the same burning excitement we did as kids.  
To crawl into our beds every night with heavy eyelids, full hearts and clouds of dreams that wake us up and inspire us all over again.  

So may your spirit run wild, may you learn to dance with your devils and may you feel the wings that already carry you so you can soar even higher.  
This is my wish for all of us.  

With love! 
- K