Somewhere between New York and London at 39,000 feet above the earth, my heart was at peace while my exhausted body and mind took the opportunity to rest. I had just successfully completed a one-week, business trip, which had taken me from one coast of North America to the other, then over the Pacific to down under in Australia. Mission accomplished in a few days, it was back to the United States and then over the Atlantic to London.
Now I was returning home, filled with anticipation at soon being able to see my children again, of the thought of relaxing on the porch, of watching the birds and squirrels in the backyard and myriad other less demanding, winding-down activities. It will be good to be home again.Sooner or later, we all return home. The chorus of turbine engines exerted a hypnotic hum as we hurtled across space. Unlike most other recent flights, this one was a pleasure to be on board. It was relatively uncrowded. Less than fifty passengers occupied the belly of this big bird, which is usually accustomed to hosting more than six times that number.
It crossed my mind that airlines generally are not pleased with flights that are so empty. Yet,that was precisely what I wanted empty seats to my left,empty seats in front of me and still more empty seats behind me. No crowds, no fuss, no bother, no one kicking the seat back, no incessantly chatty traveling seat-mates, just a quiet, peaceful flight back home. I adjusted the seat, leaned back a little farther and settled myself into a more comfortable position.
Somewhat, as if in a dream, my mind began to wander the hallways of time that took me through the hopes and dreams of yesteryear. I have always loved flying, though not as a pilot but as a passenger. And not in little insect- like planes but in giant birds of the sky like 747s and 767s. Personally speaking, awaiting departure at an airport was akin to a mystical experience. Planes, for me, meant travel and travel led to faraway places. Since my earliest childhood, my fascination with faraway places had never ceased and, perhaps, never will.