Monday, May 19, 2008

I'd rather keep flying

I thought it would feel different somehow. More dramatic.

I thought my first flight this year would be immediately preceded by nervousness or anxiety or sober reflection, because I have not flown since that day a few months ago when I learned that a fellow pilot and friend had lost his life to the sky.

Since that day I have done a lot of reflecting. I have thought often about the day last fall when I took flight with my precious boy. I have made a conscious effort to remember all my father taught me, to review safety procedures and to articulate why I fly and why I must fly again.

But none of this ran through my head when I actually stepped into the float plane last weekend; it was instead like slipping on an old shoe.

And yes, it was last weekend, a week ago Saturday that I made my first spring run. The fact that I am writing about it a week later speaks to how inauspicious an event it really was.

It was a windy day and I didn’t really expect I would fly at all. But as day turned into evening the wind died down and my eight-year-old niece showed up with a friend who had never flown before and had been promised a flight with Aunt Kelly.

“It’s a little windy and I haven’t flown since last fall,” I said. “Maybe I should do a run with you first Dad.”

Dad waved me off from his station at the grill. “The wind’s down. Go ahead.”

And I hesitated only a split second, not because I felt anxious, but because I felt that maybe I should feel anxious.

Then I shrugged. "Okay, I’ll take a quick run on my own before I take the girls.”

And Rob jumped up. “I’ll come with you.”

So away we went.


And it was gorgeous.

It was bumpy and lively and the sun was shining and the sky was blue and my heart swelled as the plane and I danced and she accepted my lead like we had been waltzing together forever.

I did a circuit, let Rob practice straight and level flight for a few minutes (did I mention he’s learning to fly as well?) and then brought it in for a smooth landing.

Then I taxied to shore, picked up my niece and her friend and took to the skies again.

And it was even more gorgeous, if that’s possible.

Several minutes later as I brought the plane in on short final for landing, I felt a little tug at my sleeve and turned briefly to see the beaming face of my niece’s friend.

“I’m just a little busy right now sweetie,” I said. “What’s up?”

“I was just wondering if we really have to land,” she said. “I’d rather keep flying.”

And I had to chuckle.

I’d rather keep flying too, I thought. I’d rather keep flying too.

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53 comments:

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I want to keep flying too!

Brittany said...

Sounds amazing! Your words are so inspiring. I am afraid of planes...deathly afraid...and after reading this, I want to fly!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is why you conquer your fear- you never let your fear conquer you!

Melody said...

Good! I'm so glad to hear that it hasn't stopped you. And I'm with you guys, I would rather keep flying as well.

Vered said...

Ah, the passion of flying.
We recently saw The Little Prince by the SF Opera and there's a song by the pilot about how he feels when he flies. Can;t remember the words, but flying a plane must be an amazing experience.

I envy you a little.

I know I could take lessons, but I think I'm too scared!

wheelsonthebus said...

We go to the local airport to to watch the little planes take off, and B is fascinated. I think of you and your passion while we watch.

Cheri said...

Okay . . . WOW!

Kathy said...

Amazing. Good for you forging ahead like that. What a great feeling.

tricki_nicki said...

I'm still getting over the fact that you know how to fly a PLANE!!

Are You Serious! said...

♡ Great picture! It's beautiful!

Momma said...

It's a pilot thing. You talk about flying just like my hubby does. I know he aches to get back into the sky.

Peace - D

Laura said...

WOW - good for you getting back in the air...how wonderful!

chelle said...

Amazing!
I am glad you could get back up there :)

Melisa said...

Very cool!

Nowheymama said...

Beautiful post.

Angie said...

SO eloquently written that I almost forgot I hate to fly - over water that is. *shudders*

KEEP BELIEVING

Reluctant Housewife said...

I feel like I should say congratulations... so I'm sayin' it... Congratulations!

Sounds lovely. Almost makes me want to try it.

Anna said...

I love this post and the way you write! And good for you for getting back in the air!

OHmommy said...

Note to self: need to find a hobby.

Beautiful post!

Heather said...

Flying is, at once, exhilarating and terrifying for me. Way to get back up there.

Victoria said...

Awesome! Good for you!

Kimmylyn said...

That was a great post.. congrats on getting back in the air!!

Mental P Mama said...

Thank you...I needed to 'fly' today, too. I feel so much lighter. Beautiful!

La La said...

If I come your way, will you take me FLYING? It sounds so amazing! I've actually had dreams about flying a plane that looks just like the one in your photos! DREAMS, I tell ya, even though no one I know has ever flown planes!!!

Marie around the World said...

And YOU know how to fly....how impressive ! Congrats !

Kitty said...

I'm so pleased for you - that's great. x

The Walsh's said...

Wow! I want one of those...

kay said...

i'm totally impressed! i had no idea you could do that! beautiful!

Joanna said...

Wow! What else there to say?

womaninawindow said...

How can you be any cooler? Man. And what a treat for a little one to have such a cool aunt...

Kami said...

I am so glad it wasn't an anxious event for you! If you love it, there is no reason to let fear creep in. If we let fear rule us, we would live in a bubble!

:-)

Beautifully written as always Kelly!

Angella said...

You're a pilot???

Awesome.

As was this post. I want to fly too...

Elaine A. said...

Wow, it looks just gorgeous! I didn't know you were a pilot too- that's awesome!

David said...

Wonderful post!
It made me appreciate what it takes to do what life offers

MommyTime said...

Beautiful. I'm so glad you did the flying version of getting back on the horse. And that you loved it again.

E said...

Higher Aunt Kelly HIGHER Pleeeease....

Kellan said...

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday!!

Nice to see you today - take care - Kellan

Backpacking Dad said...

You are making this up.

I refuse to believe that such a perfect day could have happened.

Paint me green and call me Kermit.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Sounds beautiful and amazing, what an incredible thing, to be able to fly. Thank you for sharing with us in your lovely prose.

Bunchy said...

Wow. In.credible.

Mandy said...

You're very brave. I've probably been on 100+ flights in my life, but not in small planes.

My husband wants to learn how to fly. I know he'll be a good pilot if he does, but part of me is so scared that he will make time for this pasttime.

Indy said...

Amazing.

Oz said...

Yay! That sounds fantastic.

Aunt Becky said...

I want to be flying RIGHT NOW.

Karen MEG said...

Lovely post, it's amazing what kids say isn't it, so simple, so true!

Rob flying as well, that is awesome.

Can I tell you how cool you are? I told Hubs you fly planes --he says I should try to meet you IRL because I don't have any friends this cool LOL!

painted maypole said...

fun!

caramama said...

Good for you! I'm glad the flight went well. It sounds like so much fun!

Jaina said...

How exciting! I'm glad you took them up, what a thrill for them?

Magpie said...

Wow. Thanks especially for the photos - they made this whole flying thing feel real. You are cool.

(And that husband of yours? Cute.)

Barrie said...

Ah, you are so brave, Don Mills Diva!

ConverseMomma said...

I'm glad you had some a wonderful experience taking to the air, again. I hope you continue to soar.

Whitenoise said...

Very nice. I regret that I've never acquired a float endorsement. Someday.

Sue said...

Kelly! I am just catching up on a few posts! Yay for you!!!!!! I am so glad that you are back flying! Of course, you know that your friend wouldn't have wanted you to be grounded for the rest of your life!
You go girl!