Like a lot of people, I have an innate nervousness about flying. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like flying, it’s just the thought of plummeting from the sky in a large steel object filled with aviation fuel is pretty hard for my rational mind to ignore.
The only way I can reconcile this risk with my mind is to explain that in exchange for taking this risk, we get to see the world from the heavens. And ever since seeing an IMAX film showing images of Earth 30 years ago at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, my mind absolutely LOVES aerial images and seeing the world from above. Therefore, my mind has accepted this trade-off, since it believes the benefits outweigh the risks. (Yes, my highly evolved brain is happy to risk death for a good view.)
But there is another aspect of flying that I love, and that has to do with perspective. As the plane takes off, we leave the hustle and bustle of life behind. Things on the ground start to look smaller and that world goes mute. We then start to ascend through the weather – the ride is sometimes rough and rainy, but often a little exhilarating as the acceleration pushes you back into your seat.
Just before you think you are going to spend the rest of the flight struggling to keep your cup of tea upright, the plane pops out above the clouds, and all that is our daily experience is left behind.
It doesn’t matter that below there are a million lives, a million dramas, a millions smiles, a million heartbreaks, and a million raindrops. Up above the clouds there is just blue sky, sunlight and the tips of snowy mountains.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our lives and everything going on around us, that we forget there is a place we can go that is unaffected by all that goes on. A place where we can distance ourselves from the drama. A place of calm, peace, and quiet.
This place is inside us. This place can give us the reprieve and perspective we need to continue. This place is above our everyday lives… above the clouds.