I recently flew back from Italy. It's my first time outside North America. It was amazing to consider I started my return day on the Italian Riviera (no, I'm not rich…), then flew over the snow capped Alps, over the chilly North Atlantic dotted with floating icebergs as far as the eye could see, then over the still snow laced tundra of Labrador to arrive back in balmy New England. I don't take that for granted, and don't understand how any one can?
For me flying is the closest I come to a religious experience. Maybe it's because it forces my brain to "think big". You can't look out the window and not see that humanity - all that stuff we take for granted: cars, houses, friends, family - is all just a fine dust distributed around a vast globe. But at the same time you see Earth more as a planet - a finite ecosystem in which powerful yet subtle natural processes shape the land and life.
I don't understand why more people aren't awed by the views and the change in perspective - especially our political representatives who do a fair bit of flying yet remain so small minded. Maybe it's because some don't like to fly and are preoccupied by their fears during the process? I confess that when I fly I become a total fatalist. If we land safe or crash, my concerns and skills would have little effect on the outcome, so I just throw myself into the experience of being an observer.
Or maybe I'm just a freak? In any case flying has always opened my mind and spirit by viewing nature and our planetary cradle on that scale. It's no wonder that the Apollo astronauts were awed by seeing Earth in its entirety in their sky. Maybe we need to fly all our politicians to the Moon, just in hopes it will allow them to "think bigger"?
'K. Nuff spiritual chatter. More art! Click to visit strange new worlds!