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Chasing the Sun

I’m a 13 year-old who’s really into flight. This post is part of a series of posts I’m writing to help you (probably a grown up) remember how amazing flight is.

The first rays of the waking sun touch the wings that I peer at from my window seat. The powerful jets just outside begin to rumble. The plane thunders forward. As I watch, the morning dew streaks across the windows, slipping away with the ground as we climb skyward. The bay that seems so large from the shore shrinks, the commanding bridges fade to toys. The semis become tiny rectangles, the cars squares, traversing the freeways like a line of ants on the sidewalk.

The Columbia River

As the jets hurtle us forward, it dawns on me that one of those ants on the sidewalk won’t make a difference, but all the of them together, like a swarm of army ants in the Amazon, will leave a mark as they traverse this planet. Even the expansive wing , which looks so large from the window, is drawn into perspective by the the sunlit Columbia river, which rolls away to the horizon.

Mt. St. Helens (lower left) and Mt. Rainier

I used to live in Seattle, and we would drive to visit my grandparents in Portland. Mt. Rainier would be the first mountain we saw, the next, (Mt. St. Helens) four long hours away. As I fly, I see both mountains at the same time.

I used to gaze at the familiar peak of Mt. Rainier from my bedroom window. The engines hum outside. The world keeps sliding by. I smile at that old friend of mine and watch it fade into the distance.

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