There is a town I know. It is not a big town. Actually, it is quite small. In every way, it is a very ordinary town. There are 2 convenience stores. There is a library with a large collection of thick and serious books. There is an old handmade ice-cream shop. And the people who live in the town seem ordinary when you first meet them. They smile and say, “Good morning,” in the morning. They wave and say, “See you later,” at the end of the day. They wear blue jeans and t-shirts and laugh at jokes.
But for all of that, they are quite different from you and me. The people in the town are always floating an inch or two off the ground. They float, but the people of the town cannot fly. At least I have never seen them fly. They just float above the sidewalk. And only a little. It is very easy to notice them floating when they get on a bus. Instead of climbing the stairs, they just float up into the bus.
I lived in the town for one year. I was a science teacher at the high school. Every day I went to school and taught my science classes. One day, I asked my best student, Chad, why all the people in town floated. He was a clever boy with light brown hair and lots of freckles on his nose. He laughed and said he didn’t know. I hoped that if I lived in the town, if I drank the town’s water, if I made friends with people in the town, I would start to float, too. But I never did.
After one year my girlfriend and I decided to get married. She lived in New York. So I moved. Before I moved, Chad gave me a letter, but said I shouldn’t open it until I was married. The day after my wedding I pulled out the letter and read it. It said, “We float, because we know this town is our only home. We float because we know that we will never leave. That is the secret.” I looked across the table at my new wife. I thought about my new life. I knew just what Chad meant.