What a Glorious Thing We [pilots] Do;
Still Basking in the Post-Checkride, 'Afterglow'.....
September 22, 2005
Perhaps it's because my mind is free of dealing with all the obstacles to getting to my most recent checkride, but it's 4 A.M. and I woke up about an hour or so ago with the same thoughts rushing through my head over and over. The thoughts won't 'give-up' so, I finally 'give-in' and feel 'compelled' to write them down. I'm no author and there is a certain amount of imprecision in what I will try to 'get on paper', but I still feel compelled to do my best to share these thoughts. Please feel free to read on or not,, what follows is just me 'gushing' about flight... :0)
What a glorious and magnificent thing we [pilots] do! These strips of asphalt, dirt or grass; have drawn me to them for as long as I can remember. The sounds and smells, nourish my being to extents that I can't even begin to calculate. I try to never forget what special and 'magic' places these spaces are. Even before I knew what a yoke was, coming to these 'sacred' places has always felt like 'coming home'; somehow, I always had the feeling that I always 'belonged' here. The thoughts and efforts towards flight have been with me most of my life and for as long as I can remember.
Part of the 'magic' lies in the very 'essence' of what these airstrips are; a myriad of grand 'possibilities', unlimited potential distilled into a physical form of that 'blessed' thing that has the name of 'runway'.
I remember Richard Bach speaking in one of his 'flight-theme' books about the 'magic' of the take-off. To paraphrase his observations: There we are rolling down the runway, gradually building up speed; the 'nay-saying' voices in the back of our consciousness saying 'pull that throttle' and we will be 'safe' on the earth and the pilot within us telling the 'voices' that his very essence demands that he must be in the sky. Speed increases; then..... the wheels begin to leave the ground and in that magnificent instant the 'dream world' and 'real world' join as one and the 'chains' are broken; our body and soul is free of earth and our spirits, soar. That's not Richard's thoughts, verbatim; but I believe it is the spirit of what he wrote in the passage that I was referring to
.... And then we are flying: People will spend their dollars and efforts looking to various 'gurus' and 'new age-y spiritual leaders and their books',,, lives spent seeking out joy and 'magic', but for those of us that are pilots, we know that 'it' is all there; reaching joy and magic, for us, it is a simple thing and it lies just outside our windscreens - all we need to know and experience is in that moment we are flying.
In flight, we are living life as it is meant to be lived; cherishing and savoring each precious instant of time/life - while we are in, it. In the moment, totally aware and it's as if our very self/spirit 'fills' the entire vistas that fill our windscreens. There are moments when I'm looking at the beautiful vistas outside the plane and feel my eyes attempt to 'drink-in' as much beauty as they can - like some thirsty, desert dweller coming up on some pure source of water; thirstily drinking down all that their bodies will allow. My spirit seems to fill these limitless vistas that I view and I feel that I become a 'whole' that is vastly greater than a sum of my parts. Though some often forget this truth,,, each instant of breath and heartbeat is our only true possession; and in flying we spend each of these moments truly living that instant - living life as life should be lived; neither in the past or constantly focused on the future, but in the 'now'....... maybe our only 'true possession'.
I also think about it during final approach; what clarity can be found in that moment - priorities are clear and the moment (just as in other aspects of flight) is pure.
No, there's no structure to what I just presented and I must sound like I'm positively 'gushing' <g>, but I had to see my thoughts to 'paper' and I share them now with you.
What an extraordinary thing this thing called, 'flight', is. I find the 'grace in every step I take' for being fortunate enough to have found this 'experience' that seems to resonate with every aspect of my being. And John, I'll never forget that I have you to thank!
End of Me's gushing, awkward prose <grin>.... just had to share,,, maybe my mind will rest and I can get some more sleep now .... ;0)
Graphic designed by: Jeff Bucchino,
"The Wizard of Draws" (copyright owner) http://www.wizardofdraws.com
Click PilotGuy to return to previous screen