Thanksgiving flight

This evening I’m flying to Atlanta to celebrate Thanksgiving with my daughter and her husband, and my son and his girlfriend.

I enjoy flying; I see it as an integral part of the trip. Whenever I fly I try to get a window seat. Then I watch the earth pass below like a cinema buff watching movie trailers. I’m infatuated with tiny towns (crossroads with a dozen houses visible from six miles up on a clear day), big cities (light-fests looming larger and larger on the night horizon), and the shapes and patterns of the naked land. 

A memorable flight in terms of the view is a 2006 Thanksgiving trip from New York to Seattle. We departed JFK International at 4:00 PM for that 2800-mile flight. By the time we hit North Dakota, we were six miles up logging 600 mph. Almost everyone had their lights off and was asleep in their seats since night was approaching. I was on the north side of the plane, so it was across the dark cabin and out the opposite window that I beheld a memorable spectacle.

The massive Missouri River was flowing along next to us – well thirty miles to the south and six miles below. It glowed a mezmerizing mauve in the setting sun. Since we were heading into the sun at 600 mph, this significantly slowed the sunset. While we raced the sun, prolonging its setting, the Missouri – a mile wide at some points – glowed gradually darker shades of purple for more than an hour until finally, somewhere over Montana, we lost our race with the sun, and I my fight with sleep.

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2 Comments on “Thanksgiving flight”

  1. Jen Says:

    It’s a freedom to be up in the air. Surreal and dreamlike. Although more accidents happen in crosswalks than the air, I always give my life over to god or budda when in the sky. No control not even a phony psychological control that hands on steering wheels sometimes give. Yet when soaring above the world it seems so small and life so large. A Thanksgiving for breath and life is ever present.

  2. Mary Says:

    I flew in 2007 to Missouri to see my son graduate from Army AIT. It was the first time I had flown in 30 years. I remembered I got sick as a child and took a Dramimine. I was still able to be coherent enough to enjoy the view from above. It was truly breathtaking, awesome and beautiful. Almost made me forget I was afraid of heights and the desire to throw up. ox’s


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