“There is something very special… beyond words… about being at high altitude and looking down at the picture that only God and aviators can enjoy.”
That sentence is taken from an email exchange I shared with my beloved Grandfather recently. 2015 has been the year that I have finally made some significant progress in making my dreams come true.
I am a few lessons away from flying my first solo, an achievement that I have had vivid dreams about for some time now. The graceful words of my grandfather perfectly summarize what I imagine feeling while being in the cockpit alone.
The engine humming, hushed enough by the headset to allow the mind to focus on other things while remaining loud enough to remind the pilot that it is the only thing keeping them aloft. Brisk outside air rushing in through the gasper, keeping the cockpit comfortable and reinforcing the fact that I am, indeed, soaring through the sky.
Back and forth, around the clouds I go.
Every once and a while I catch a glimpse of my shadow on the ground. An experience I find remarkable. The shadow, in a way, reminds me that I am still part of the Earth on which it is cast as I fly far above.
I imagine that the experiences I hold near to my heart hold even more meaning if performed in solitude.
To me, this journey is very personal. I debated for a while before posting this because, to me, flight is sacred. My time with the airplane is just that- mine. I enjoy it so fully that I do not require another person’s opinion or blessing- it’s my escape. When I fly, I live.
These feelings are something I am able to share with both my father and my grandfather. I come from a long line of aviators, all of which hide the skill in their hearts. As my journey progresses, I realize how valuable it is and I cherish it more every day.