I was asked tonight as we took a short hop from Austin to Dallas if I was ready to get off the plane. I calmly glanced at the woman in the row behind me and replied that I was ok, after all I flew every week. That thought was apparently repulsive to her. She shifted uneasily from foot to foot waiting impatiently to get out of “the small tube”.
As I made a rare appearance in first class an hour later, cause every frequent flyer on the planet out ranks me, I was enthralled by the planes that sat waiting to take off at the end of the long strand of green lights that my pilot followed.
Three huge sleek white tubes sat patiently waiting their turn to chase the yellow lights that guide them skyward. It was the beauty of blue lights framing the steady yellows and greens as the engines throttled, it was the mysterious flashing white lights that seemed to float in mid-air up into the darkness that caught my attention.
It was this thrill of color, of sound, of flight, of beauty the woman on the first flight did not see.
As I watched the few planes in front of us roar to life, it struck me that only a hundred years or so ago, people laughed at the notion of flying like birds, seeing the earth through clouds, city lights, sun rays blinking off the snow covered mountains.
For me it is a weekly occurrence. It is the frequency of my travel that this beauty of sound, color, and imagination become lost in the drudgery of work.
Tonight, I was handed a wonderful gift from a woman that wanted nothing more than to rush off and be on her way. She made me pause for a moment to enjoy the beauty of flight, to remind me of the magnificence of lifting weightlessly off the ground, the symmetry of it all. I am grateful that I have a job that allows me to travel to enjoy all aspects of flying.
I am grateful to the unknown woman who reminded me of the beauty of flying.