Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fly Like an Eagle

I want to fly. Not like a bird necessarily, although that would be cool enough. But not enough to be a bird. No, I want to fly. Fly my own plane. Be that independent, that bold, that calm in the midst of life-threatening activity every second aloft.

I don't know why exactly, because two of my great fears are of speed and of falling, both realities of flying. Maybe it's the control part. Maybe it's the no boundaries, no borders part. I don't know. I dated a pilot for a couple of years. Not an airline pilot, although he does that now. No, when we dated he worked for a small charter company in Maine where he flew millionaires wherever they wanted or needed to go or did moose counts for the Department of Fish and Game. His idea (and mine) of a great date was to hop in the Cessna and do take offs and landings on a couple of lakes or buzz down to the family picnic 100 miles south of us.

But I loved flying long before that. There were the months of reading every flier biography I could get my hands on: Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Anne Lindbergh, Denys Finch-Hatton, Beryl Markham. My favorite movie scene comes from Out of Africa where Denys takes Karen flying across the plains of Kenya. I love the soaring, sweeping vistas, and the oh, so romantic gesture as he reaches for her hand, the wind wildly whipping their hair and scarves around their heads while the zebras and giraffes lope along below. One of my favorite classical pieces is Ralph Vaughn-Williams' The Lark Ascending. One of my favorite poems is John Magee's High Flight that describes how the young fighter pilot has "slipped the surly bonds of earth...put out his hand and touched the face of God."

Oh yes, I want to fly. I want that glorious rush of taking off, of climbing the sky into the clouds to the sun and that rarified air. I want the joy of the skylark rising at dawn, singing exuberantly until it is out of sight. I don't want to be earthbound. I don't want to be chained to expectations of anyone else's plotting and planning. I want to chart my own path, make my own flight plan. I want to go when I'm ready and leave when I feel the need to move on. I want to rise above the mundane, bask in the heat of the sun. I want the perspective of God without the burden of responsibility.

Oh yes. I want to fly. Fly like an eagle with that prospect view. Fly like Amelia or Anne without the loss or the hurt. Fly like Denys with complete abandon and independence. Fly like Charles without fear. Fly like Donny with joy unbounded. Fly like John in the presence of God.

1 comment:

Patty said...

You should learn to fly ! Plain and simple, that way you leave this world with no regret of having passed up the opportunity.
Carpe Diem !