Sunday, 13 November 2011
From 40,000 Feet Down
There are nights like tonight when I find it impossible to sleep and I wander about the house in search of a thought or a distraction from the hamster wheel rolling in my head. The thoughts rush through my mind like a stack of newspapers in a windstorm, flying by too fast to even stop and catch one thought long enough to formulate an actually opinion.
My mind had always worked this way. It is a compartmentalized mess of thoughts, fears, dreams and expectations. Then something catches my eye and the hamster wheel stops. A calm rushes over me and I focus for a brief moment on one thought.
Tonight I sat in the window, looking out into the very day skies of the North Atlantic, stars shining bright and a flash of lights catches my eye. It is an airplane flying thousands of feet over the distant lights of Newfoundland. I look up at the flashing lights of the wings and can't help but wonder who is on that plane? Where are they going? And are they wondering the same about the cities and town of the lit up countryside below.
I picture families on their first voyage overseas on the redeye to London or Paris. Going to meet family for the first time, dining on cookies and ginger ale. Laughing and talking and enjoy this long flight before they will soon be in the arms of their loved ones. I picture grief stricken people on there way to funerals and saddened occasions that are calling them unwillingly to a part of the world that they may want to never return. I picture them up there, 40,000 ft in the air, looking down on the lights of my town and wondering who we are down here. Assuming it is a sleepy city as they fly by night, completely unaware that I am indeed watching them watch me.
I have often been on plane and flown over cities and towns and saw moving cars and wondering if they looked up and saw my plane and wondered where we were flying? Wondering what out stories are? Vacations? Weddings? Funerals? These are questions that we will never know the answers to.
We are alas, strangers of sorts, crossing in the night connected in an odd way but will never really know who the others are. Like two ships the cross in the night.
When you fly you see no borders, you see no countries and you see no people. You simply see the vastness of great oceans and the beauty of great landscapes. Your minds consumed with what is on the other end and not with what some thousands of feet below.
I think about it all the time. I find myself jealous at times. I fantasize that the people far above my head on on route to fabulous and exotic journeys that I will never take myself. Every now and then I wonder if they do indeed see that light over my door and for that brief second we connect. On a level that neither of us will truly understand.
We are all just fish in the giant fishbowl of life. Most of us will never ever know the other and yet most of us often wish we were the others.
My mind is so weird like that but it is with those weird twisted thoughts that feel the most calm. I feel a peace inside that I cam somehow be connected with a world I want to see one day and their voyage over my house allows me to think that I too will one day fly over their house and give them the chance to dream and think about me, sitting up there eating my cookies and ginger ale, looking down on their lights and wondering who they might be.
Like my Nan, some people live and die in one place. never once venturing outside of the comfort of their existence. What did she think when she saw those places fly over head? Did she dream of being on them and was that her flight to San Fransico?
Life is about what we make it. We can either sit in our windows and watch and wonder about those up above us who are living their dreams or we can be them. I can't wait to continue to be on those planes looking down and allowing those looking up to dream and achieve to be me. I will see this world one step at a time and I will look down from my place and see the bright lights of the cities and towns below and send them my wishes and love for their own safe travels.
So the next time you look up into the sky and see a plane flying far overheard, remember it is full of people like you and me and they indeed are looking down at us and wondering who we are and how we live and know that your time is coming. Soon you will be off on your own dream flight looking down and them with that same curiosity.
Or maybe I need my meds adjusted and I am the only one who thinks of such silly things in the middle of the night. Either way, it brings me peace. Bon Voyage!