I have grown accustomed to air travel.
AS a matter of fact, when haven’t flown in a while, I sometimes miss it. Prior to joining the recruitment industry, I had flown less than a dozen times in my life. But now, many years later, it has become a regular part of my life. And, I can frankly say that I enjoy it, I am truly at ease with it. Additionally, the rules and regulations that come with air travel today are easy for me to adhere to, they make sense. Security check points do not rattle me. I have no problem removing my shoes and sweater, dropping computer and phone in the bin. I gladly produce my ID when asked or willingly turn electronic devices completely off during takeoff and landing. These practices all make sense to me.
They Make Sense
Especially given my desire to be protected, to have the plane in which I am flying and all of its occupants remain safe. My intellect allows me to see the common sense in these procedures. And it can be extremely difficult when other passengers do not see the value or are ignorant of the current system. Very taxing, indeed.
Surprise in the South Pacific
A couple years ago, I boarded a very small twelve-passenger plane and sat directly behind the cockpit which was manned by a pilot who appeared to be eighteen years old. He made no pre-flight safety announcements, nor did he tell us to turn off electronic devices. We were able to take pics and record with our phones and cameras throughout the entire fifty-five minute flight across the South-of-the-Equator sea. He turned to his also very young co-pilot and said these simple words, “Looks like a beautiful day for flying…” And then…, we heard just the endearing roar of twin props as we made our way to an even smaller island in the South Pacific.
I felt like I was cheating, a charlatan! – I felt like a citation was waiting with my name on it. There was, clearly, no internet to access but the opportunity to take pictures and video of the landing and takeoff was completely new to me – no technical devices we declared off limits. At first, we, the passengers, all stared at each other, then we slowly nodded awareness… surreal, huh – ok. Again, some sanity was jarringly mainlined into my perception of travel, deafening the habitual and automatic procedures to which I had grown so accustomed. And, somehow, delightfully, a little joy and excitement crept in.
That is until whispers and nervous giggles pulled my attention away from the window and the endless endless blue ocean topped by cumulus clouds. I followed my fellow passengers eyes to the open cockpit, where a padded but tattered mylar car sunshade completely blocked the pilots’ view of the what lay before them and they both sat reading the newspaper. I think I rubbed my eyes like a cartoon character. Shouldn’t someone be watching where we are going? I frantically thought… The pilots were engaged in a conversation that made them both smile and throw their heads back with laughter. It was probably our panicked faces and anxious grumbles, aware of this trick they often played on unsuspecting travelers. But with their laughter came instant relief and my window drew me back as the tropical island floated in the distance.
I looked down at my bare feet, for I had slipped my flip-flops off in a carefree motion and thought, “So this is what flying used to be like. Mmmm…” Yes, we need rules, but sometimes, in order to have true peace, we need to forget them and just live. Live and breathe life in deep, unhurried breaths.
by Rayanne Thorn