Thursday, September 24, 2009
I remember the time when your loved ones could walk right up to the gate with you, and watch through the window as your plane left. If you were lucky enough to have a window seat on the appropriate side, you might even see them waving. And perhaps it's just movie-induced romanticization, but catching up with someone at baggage claim just doesn't have the same effect as seeing them waiting for you at the gate as you step off the plane.
There is one part of flying, however, that they can't ruin for me. It's that moment – especially on a cloudy day – when the airplane breaks through the clouds into the blue sky and you find an entirely new world above. It can be cloudy, rainy, ugly weather on the ground, but above the clouds it's eternally sunny. On a thickly overcast day (like the one on which I flew home this week) the clouds below look like a vast expanse of snowy fields, forever unmarred by human footsteps, gleaming in the sunlight. That moment is my favorite part of flying, and it is the one reason that I still love to fly.