Sunday, June 22, 2008

On Flying

I was just looking through some older journal entries I made after my first cross-country solo flight. Wow. That was definitely an experience. People say that flying brings them closer to God- like in the poem "High Flight"

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there,I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie
Let me quote my own thoughts on the subject (it seems ages ago that I wrote this!) “Back alive from my 1st 50 mile solo x-country! At last my heart can quit pounding, I can relax, and I can warm up. It was -14 C on the ground and I could see my breath but not feel my hand on the way over.” Besides freezing the whole time, I landed on the wrong runway at a towered airport, couldn’t find other traffic, and flew over somebody’s brush pile and scared myself half to death when I smelled the smoke from it! After writing about all that, I finished up “And I made it. Barely. I shudder to think of how many times I missed death today. But it was really cool…” Three days later I went on a 150-mile cross-country solo. My comment on that was “Who knows how many times I avoided death. :)” Flying definitely gives me the feeling of being close to God- at any moment I might see Him face-to-face! Actually, though, I love it, and feel like Someone is definitely protecting me all the time. I also learn like crazy each time I go up. :)

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