Why does flying always make me want to write? It’s odd, but soaring over this great nation at 34,000 feet stirs something in my brain that gets my poetic juices flowing.
Our co-pilot just welcomed us aboard and, uncharacteristically gave us the route with landmarks … between Cincinnati and Lexington … right over Louisville, over St. Louis, just north of Albuquerque, then right over the Grand Canyon. I can’t help but dream of clear skies the whole way. Flying over the heartland, gazing down over the Ohio and Mississippi rivers before crossing the wintry gray Plains of the southern “amber waves of grain”. They will be followed by the mysterious gray crevasses as we enter the west and peer into the depths of the Grand Canyon from our lofty aerie.
It’s all majestic and every bit “home.” Flying makes me feel American. It is hours over one great country. It is the epitome of freedom and adventure. It stirs my curiosity and reminds me how many things I still want to see. It is small towns, big cities and vast expanses of wilderness. It’s people headed to work, students off to classrooms everywhere, stay-at-home mom’s, the unemployed … every type of person imaginable. It’s joy and sadness. It is everything and, somehow, up here in the air, it is nothing.
Greg dozes comfortably next to me as the flight crew offers movie-loaded tablets for rent before beginning the first beverage service. A five hour flight means we will get two runs of the drink cart. Our upgraded seats mean we can look forward to a snack box. But the major draw is the view. We take turns in the window seat and it’s my turn this time around.
As the captain suggested, I’ll lean back and enjoy the flight, after all, there’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored (or at least viewed).