Above It All- Draft #2
The airport is a mess of all kinds of people. It is the jungle of the city; 50-foot tall ceilings cover you as you are saturated with fluorescent lights and strut down the halls to the constant melodies of screeching rubber on the runaway. Conversations meant to be kept private echo right into your ear even though you don’t want to listen (thank god for headphones). Everyone is always in a rush.
When I was little I loved watching airplanes take off into the sky and disappear. I remember when my dad used to take me to Toronto Pearson International Airport. He would drive up right beside the runways and together we watched the big bad jetted machines take off. The way the planes would so effortlessly leave the Earth and become part of the atmosphere was beautiful. I love how small the planes made me feel even though I was only five.
Eventually I grew to an age mature enough for my parents to willingly take us to Disney World. Which meant? Flying.
My first airplane ride, I remember it like it was yesterday. For 3 straight hours I cried, my little brother did not sit still, and my older brother lasted the whole ride without puking but spewed into my mother’s handbag once we landed.
Today, I am a frequent flyer according to Air Canada. When family or friends drop me off at the airport it’s a goodbye that has a hint of worry. Flying by yourself to go to school just isn’t the same as getting onto an airplane with your family for vacation. I walk though the sliding glass doors hauling luggage that is over packed, most of the time. The baggage ladies greet me with a warm smile and light hello as I boost my cargo onto the scale. I can hear the roaring engines from outside and it makes me anxious but I climb the stairs anyways, I always choose the healthier alternative. The line is a thirty-minute wait but it goes by fast when the people next to you gossip about the airport security’s lackadaisical attitude. Once cleared by security I again take the stairs to follow the signs that direct me to my gate.
Getting comfortable on a flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay is comparable to a six foot nothing male getting comfortable in a single bed, it just doesn’t happen. I always choose seat 7A, because of that country song “Drunk On A Plane” it has a lucky vibe. On the flight I tend to think about three main things. The first, I hope I don’t die. The second, I hope the person next to me is nice enough to offer me gum because I always forget. And thirdly, how astonishing it is to be on a flight where time goes by so quickly that a 16-hour drive turns into an hour and 45 minutes.
Airplanes to this day still make me feel small. The airplane ride as an experience can be thrilling because of the possible dangers. Risk I’ve embraced, a form of exposure to make you grow.
The way that airplanes leave only to return no matter what path they encounter, reassuring. Trust, another beautiful part of human nature that I have adopted.
At the end of the day humans are just like planes. The plane is a symbol of the places people search for, a destination to arrive at, a road to travel on, and a path to pave. Human’s relationships with the Earth are poisonous just as airplanes are. We walk around without a care about what is going to happen to it. We invented airplanes because of the thrill, because it seemed impossible to fly in the air.
Airplanes were mainly meant for war when first introduced. Today? We use them to get away from our homes, to go back home to take a break from work, to work, to see loved ones, to meet new people, to travel the world, to experience things we never have. Today, the world is more connected then ever, and credit is given to the beastly machines that fly in the clouds, below the stars and above the birds. There is a similar story shared with humankind and airplanes, if only the world was focused on more of the positive things in life.
I think we all want to feel small; it is a comforting fact that we aren’t as monstrously careless as “they” say. Being beside the clouds is empowering. A different angle is seen from an airplane, it is a bird’s eye view. The world can learn a lot from airplanes. Relax, take risks, and trust just as the airplanes do. Change your perspective once in a while, it makes a well rounded character that is willing to make changes. Airplanes are there for us whenever we need to get us to wherever we want to go. But before that happens, it has to start with you.