Always looking up

This morning, as I left the house, I looked up to see an airplane heading straight south. I couldn’t help but stare.

From the ground, it seems so logic defying – a large steel craft rising further and further in the air, a plume of white trailing behind it, as if the airplane wasn’t really a passenger-filled vessel but actually a mythical rocket, being sent into space in some futuristic science fiction novel.

Yeah, I know. It’s an airplane. The technology has been around for years – centuries, really – and there are plenty of laws and theories in the field of physics that can explain why large lumps of metal can glide on air.

But even knowing these things, the sight never ceases to amaze me.

More than this scientific wonder, I usually wonder where these planes are going.

I always feel a rush when I enter an airport. I become pleasantly anxious, and once I’m belted in, the anxiety turns into full out excitement. I know that, in mere hours, I will be somewhere else. Somewhere completely different.

What used to take months, now takes hours. I love that. Through hundreds of connecting airports, the world has been shrunk to a once impossible size.

So when a plane flies overhead – when the sonic reverberations reach my ears and I find myself instinctively looking up – I imagine where the passengers are going. I think of my place here, on solid ground, and then think of their place, up there, flying, headed somewhere different, and I consider the difference between us – several thousand feet, completely different destinations, all feeling the rush of travel, either directly or vicariously.

For a few seconds, I travel with them. Then I look back down to earth and continue on with my day.

This was lovingly handwritten on August 28th, 2007