Once, We Flew

This was a very busy airport at one time.

If I close my eyes, I can remember this ramp, with cars and buses, honking; people loading and unloading suitcases; families, visitors, good friends, old friends.

Opening them, the wind is blowing in from the north, cold and hollow. There’s nobody around for miles.

Airports are, if you think about it, one of the pinnacles of our civilization in terms of technology. And, like all of the most breathtaking and amazing technologies, within a generation or so, we pass by them without thought or remark. In fact, air travelers these days probably think about the inconveniences of air travel more than the miracle that is flying, roughly in a ratio of 10,000 to 1.

Except for children, of course, who crowd up to windows at airports and in planes to look at the things adults and teens are too distracted to bother with.

As jaded and indifferent adults, there’s even a part of us that views our ancestors as being something like children for getting so excited over things like airplanes and flying. Which is indefensibly wrong, of course. It is we who have come to view things poorly through the distorting lens of abundance.

To whom much is given, much is taken for granted, it seems.

Once, we flew out of this airport: many of us, heads down, minds preoccupied, harried, distracted. When it closed, it was articles in the news, and hand-wringing, and council reports; followed by fences, and barbed wire, and cracks in parking lots and runways. Now I stand here in the presence of ghosts, as I am most places I go these days.

It’s like the little store or restaurant you used to love that closes one day, where you find yourself wishing you’d gone a little more often. A friend you lost, a miracle — one you should have appreciated more, while you still had the chance.

But we are built to live, not necessarily to live wisely. Yes, once we flew, and perhaps we will fly again in dreams; but the sun is going down, now, and all the ghosts I hear in the wind are telling me it’s time to move on.

Author: Sibelius Russell

Sibelius Russell (a/k/a/ Owen "Beleaguered" Servant) lives a life of whimsical servitude -- whatever that means.

3 thoughts on “Once, We Flew”

  1. I’m a super nervous flyer, which is only made worse by all the things I have to do before I can even get on the airplane. I absolutely love to watch planes take off and land though. It still seems like to magic to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always looked fondly on airports as the start of adventures and marvel how well they do everything they do. They are filled with so much life and vibrancy, I can’t help but get excited when I am there knowing that thanks to technological marvels, new locations and experiences lie just around the corner. Even though they do a good job of making the actual flights seem plain and mundane when you take them, like you are just travelling on a bus or train (no doubt to make people feel less afraid of flying because they forget they are on a plane), I will never take them for granted. Like Charlene says in her comment, for me they always seems like they run on magic (never mind the science behind it) and until we can teleport or travel in some other outlandish way across vast distances, they will always be the most enchanting man-made thing to me on the planet, along with airports being the cultural hub of sophistication, congregation and creator of both vivid dreams and cherished memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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