Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22: I Can See My House from Here

Today I flew a plane! A friend of my husband flew into Owls Head from Portland this morning and took us each up in his rented Cessna. Hugh served three tours in Iraq with the Marines, flying "anything that flies," as he put it, and is also a flying instructor, so I felt like I was in good hands. I wasn't nervous, but when you grip the steering handles to turn, and the plane responds, it's quite a feeling.

I love to fly, love to see a landscape that is so familiar on the ground from that new, lofty perspective, trying to guess what's what from the new angle. A hawk's eye view. We flew over Beech Hill so I could take some photos, turned inland to fly over Ragged and Bald Mountains, followed the Megunticook River to Camden Harbor, then followed the coast over Rockport and Rockland Harbors so we could check out the giant drill ship moored and awaiting repairs out beyond the Breakwater. I felt a surge of love toward the beautiful patchwork of green forests and fields bordered by the blues of the bay spreading out below us: this is my home. And I literally picked out my home (and my office) as we flew along the river. Funny how we always need to find ourselves in that way. It was like playing with Google Earth only in real life.

Hugh let me take the "wheel" for a few more minutes as he lowered the flaps and flipped switches to prepare for landing. It was kind of like driving a car, only different. An uplifting experience (pun intended), and even more so, I think, for my husband. I was trying to photograph everything I could see, but he was intent on really experiencing what it was like to fly a plane. Judging from his ecstatic expression as he stepped back to the ground, I think I'm thankful that there's no way he has the time for flying lessons.

Is this what hawks feel
as they soar over forests,
spying that one tree?

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