“Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now…”
I don’t understand how flight works. Birds I get. They’re little, they have feathers and broad wings, which they flap to lift their small bodies up into the sky. But I don’t get airplanes. They are huge hunks of metal, powered by enormous heavy engines, and filled with people – some skinny, some fat, but all with their own heft – and then the whole thing flies through the sky to land in a faraway different place. It does not make sense! And yet, I love to fly; rather, I love to travel, and flying is usually the fastest way to do it. So I suspend my disbelief, hop on a plane and go.
Airplanes are a grand metaphor; the means to do something new, to go somewhere different, to start over. Or to escape for a week, a month, half a year, into some different life in a new place. A week in the sunshine. A visit with loved ones. An exploration of a new place.
I love these tiny opportunities to say “I’m starting again.” Taking a flight to go someplace new, or returning to the same old place with renewed energy. Mondays. The beginning of a new season. Springtime. The first day of school. Even New Years, the cliché of all start-over clichés, when properly viewed, can be a magical opportunity to do something new, or to do the same old thing while viewing it with new eyes.
So, as I sit on this Frontier Airbus (air bus indeed! It certainly is an apt description for a bunch of people crammed into a transport vehicle that flies) I think about the things in store for me. I know there are no guarantees. People are not always given the chance to get it right year after year. Shit happens. Accidents, diseases, and tragedies can take place at any moment. I am ready to step into a new phase of my life and welcome the changes that are coming – be they planned or a surprise, happy or sad.
A good friend of mine talks about being “lit up.” It’s his way of embracing life and being mindful. He’s not the perfect role model in every way, but he is, indeed, a “lit up” person, and things seem to come his way because of this. It’s my goal to emulate this type of full-on presence, to try to use my senses fully, to be fully present in every moment of my life, whether it is in my writing, on the yoga mat, teaching or studying, riding my horse, or walking a dog.
And if I need a little help from time to time, I vow to look up into the sky, and wish on airplanes as if they were shooting stars; something I can attach a wish to. Because, in a way, they are.