The world looks a lot different from the other side of the clouds, and I’m kicking myself that it took me until age 30 to actually get on an airplane and see it from this perspective — a real flight of real distance and consequence, not a five minute teaser in a Cesna like I’ve had once before.
Rivers and lakes pop through the holes in the cloud cover, and I’m shocked by their numbers and their sizes. Lakes of not just water, but fog as well, pooling in mountain valleys as we cross the Appalachians. I’m snapping photos like their going out of style and I have this big grin on my face. I’m a giant kid doing something exhilarating, and just a tad risky — a roller coaster with fewer dives and loops, just gentle turns and the occasion drop in the bottom of my stomach to remind me just how far from the ground we really are.
The pilot chimes in to notify us that our 737 has reached its cruising altitude — I’m 40,000 feet from the ground, and higher than I’ve ever been in my life. My friend erin sits next to me, trying to grab a few extra winks of sleep — she’s old hat at this. I type this diatribe with Rana playing in my ears while the attendants hand out oatmeal raisin bars.
Chicago is our destination — Midway airport. I’ve always wanted to see the city, but until my friend Karina moved out there last winter, I really had no good excuse for the trip. But the plans are for me to cram as much of it into one weekend as possible. I’m excited to see the Sears Tower, Lake Michigan, the art museum — to Ferris Bueller it up. But I’m most excited to see my friend.
My existence has gained a new perspective, and if I’m lucky it’ll gain a few more before I head back to New York and my everyday routine.
(Written at 7:30 am, somewhere over Pennsylvania, or Ohio — I think)