Blue skies always make me look up. I love to feel the warm sun on my face, scan the skies for a hint of a cloud or two, and look for contrails.
Before the pandemic, contrails were everywhere. There are all kinds of commercial jets that fly over the desert where we live. There are small, private planes constantly humming overhead, practicing turns and stalls. We’re close enough to Luke Air Force Base that we occasionally hear the incredible sounds of military jets “turning and burning” as they conduct training flights and exercises. I LOVE that sound.
Those screaming jets seem to be flying a little less often now. I miss the heart stopping, thundering wail. So I look up to plain, stunning, blue skies. No contrails anywhere — most of the time.
I say most of the time because every afternoon, somewhere around 1:30 – 2:00, we look up and see the tell-tale contrail of a BIG plane. Something with four engines is flying the same path everyday. It’s too high to tell what it is, but you can just make out the four lines of condensation leaving their vapor trail in the atmosphere.
We’ve speculated it’s a military cargo jet carrying something important from east to west. Maybe it’s a commercial jet, loaded with properly socially distanced passengers headed to San Francisco or Hawaii … or even further west.
We aren’t flying anywhere, so it’s kind of fun to look up and imagine where that plane is headed, who’s on it and what their stories are. I used to do that as a kid – wonder the who, what and where of planes flying overhead. I guess until the pandemic restrictions are lifted I’ll continue dreaming about flying somewhere. What the heck, maybe I’ll even try to find shapes in the clouds while I’m looking for contrails.
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored even if you have to explore it in your imagination.
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