Faith in Flight

Do you remember the show way back in the ’50s that started with the beautiful poem, “High Flight,” by John Gillespie Magee? It has always inspired me:

“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 nor even 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.”

In looking forward to my trip to Oahu this week, this poem will be on my mind. I will put out good intentions that the weather will be fine, that my flight will be easy, safe and comfortable, and that I will return home in two weeks, filled to the brim with Hawaiian aloha and memories I will never forget.

It’s been so long since I flew that I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Some good friends of mine who fly often have helped immensely. On their good suggestions, I bought compression socks, I learned a few simple exercises (while sitting) while seated, I also got one of those cozy neck pillows. Also, I will be in a window seat near the wing (which I’ve always liked).

I have been putting out good intentions before I drift off to sleep; that I will get to the airport in plenty of time, that the TSA folks will be kind, that the pilot will have had a good night’s sleep, and most of all—that I will once again enjoy the fun of travel. Who knows, maybe in another year or so I’ll go to Lanai and Molokai as well.

But for now, I am thrilled to be going to Oahu, which I recently found out means “the gathering place.” I realize that it is very tourist-y, with a lot of traffic. But I don’t care—I will be in the land of my dreams.


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