Flight Scenes

The plane is huge. I have never flown in a plane of this size before;
mind you I’ve also never been on a flight over 3hrs. This is my second
flight today; my first flight was to Toronto; I watched the sunrise
through the cabin windows. I am now somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.
It is a sensual feeling to be crossing an ocean for the first time;
soon I will be in Europe with the next stop Africa. I literally can’t
believe that it is actually happening, I’m flying thousands of miles
away from where I have spent all of my life up to this point. It’s
hard to grasp.

It is a weird and confusing feeling to be flying ahead through time,
speeding through the cycles of day and night. My watch is still on
B.C. time and it is not even six pm, I have been up since 2:45 am.
They have already fed me my gluten free dinner and the world outside
has been blindfolded with darkness. As we speed through time, once
again I will watch the sunrise from my cabin window, and will eat my
breakfast aboard the same plane I ate my dinner. I am travelling to a
continent far far away. The world is no longer simple landmarks on a
map in my mind; I am seizing a fleeting glimpse of it at last through
my own eyes. Up until now I have been unable to put the vastness of
distance into perspective. I feel like I’m in a flying ship, it’s
absolutely unreal.

I can make out the big dipper through my window.

As I look out the window I suddenly realize that I am no longer seeing
blackness but what looks at the first glance like a network of yellow
smoldering coals. As far as I can see the earth is speckled with
dotted lights of cities, roads, towns, and villages. It is hard to
believe that I am looking at Europe. As low lying clouds role by close
to the ground a small hole allows light through giving the illusion
that a spotlight is roaming the ground. Then as soon as it came it is
gone. Was I just flying over Great Britain? Am I now over the English
Channel? I can’t tell.

I see the shoreline lit up now; perhaps this is France. A few specks
of light from ships in the water are visible. No, that can’t be France
it’s an island. We are over the water again, are those oilrigs? I
don’t even know if they have oilrigs off the coast of Europe, somehow
that doesn’t seem right. Blackness.

Again a patch of floating lights appear, much too big for anchor
lights, and relatively far off shore. Cruise ships? The straightly lit
shoreline appears again, low lying black clouds give texture to the

Golden spider webs weave across the countryside. The Captain has
informed us that we are now flying over Brussels. It is incredible.
Everything is so intricately carved and dotted with yellow lights. I’m
looking at a very expensive view.
Once again I am watching the sunrise, a perfect crimson horizon
curving very subtly.

                                                                     * * *

I glance occasionally out the window to see if I can recognize
anything, although often is too bright when I open the window screen
and with eyes smarting I quickly shut it again. I did see the
Mediterranean, we spent a good amount of time over it, but I was too
tired and sickly feeling to be very excited about it.

The next time I braved the window it was bright again and I was about
to close the cover when I realized what it was that I was looking at.
Before me, sprawled out in all directions, was a desert. I was looking
at Africa. Orange sand arranged in various patterns, it all looked
very flat but I could tell that there were dunes. Later looking at the
flight map I was able to ascertain that I was looking at the legendary
Sahara somewhere between Egypt and the Sudan. The orange patterns were
endless, rocky then smooth, duny then flat. Incredible. I was tired
and exhausted, the flesh of my nose was getting sore from blowing it
countless times. Perfect timing to catch a cold.

There’s the Nile, one big mud puddle amidst the endless sand of the
desert. The edges have that look of splattered wet sand. We are over
the point where the Nile widens into whether it’s a lake or just a
larger part of the Nile heading north to Aswan I’m not sure.


Coming soon: the Ethiopian scene.