The broomstick, contrary to common thought, does not provide the lift for flight. After considerable experimentation, the spells needed to keep a human body balanced on the broom, as well as those needed to lighten the burden placed on the few square inches of flesh pressed against it proved at least as complex as those needed for flight. Instead, the broom provides a much more basic, and perhaps more important, need -- something to hang onto while hurtling through the air. The same principle that inspires people to grasp the handles of roller coaster cars during a rapid descent (in scientific worlds) is enacted here, and is enacted elsewhere in metaphor after metaphor, some more visible than others. While in a situation where one's biological instincts are wildly inadequate to understand or control one's experience, some form of physical comfort, be it a pole, a carpet, a handle, or any number of other things to grasp, provides a psychological crutch.
I don't know why, but I felt inspired to write that. It basically is the end of a chain of thought that started when I was leaving the office an hour ago -- the sky was so clear and calm. I imagined myself simply walking out into the nearly empty parking lot, raising my hands, and lifting off of the ground, floating straight up until I reached a suitable height. I then would lean forward, and fly home, the open sky all around me. It's strange, I can imagine what it feels to fly so well, almost as if I actually had done it that way. I wonder if it's perhaps synthesized from what it is like to swim. It feels different from that though -- I almost have a memory of just somehow willing motion out of myself. I start to 'push' forward, and slowly I build up speed. The inertia is quite strong, so it takes a long time to change course. Where do these memories come from? How did I manufacture this? Could it be from video games? Driving? Swimming? Even in the first two, you can lose sense of your vehicle and feel like your will is somehow tied directly to the entity on the TV or the car. I don't know if that's it though.. It's curious.