The Moment When You Leave the Ground

I don’t fly on airplanes very often. A long, long time ago, in a world very different from the one we live in today, I flew a lot — on People’s Express Airlines. A People’s Express flight from Newark, NJ to Pittsburgh, PA cost $25.00. That right, $25.00. Round trip. To cut down on overhead costs, the flight attendant collected your fare on the plane during the flight. “I kid you not,” as Johnny Carson used to say. It was a populist’s dream.

Soon I will be on an airplane again. It will cost much more than $25.00 to get where I need to go. I’ll have to take off my shoes. I’ll have to not wear my favorite bracelet because it makes the security alarm go off, which leads to having a wand swished up and down between my outspread legs and over and under my outspread arms, while my heart is beating rapidly, which is not something I wish to go through again.

But I will get to experience something that I love: the moment when you leave the ground. First, the plane is not moving. Then, it begins to go forward, slowly. Next comes the terrifying, exhilarating speed, as the plane prepares for the moment. And finally, there it is. You aren’t on the ground anymore.

In that single moment, a happy grin spreads across my face. I feel as if God just winked at me. How can this be, I think to myself? I’m not on the ground anymore, but I’m okay. I’m fine, and we’re rising — tilting back and rising– until we level off way up high, and the sky becomes the new ground.

I’m going to leave the ground soon. You can read all about how that’s possible here, but I don’t think HowStuffWorks has an explanation for my grin.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jena said,

    I love the line, “I feel as if God just winked at me.” It made me smile and tear up at the same time. What a great word picture. I love to fly too, but like you, the cost is crazy and the hassle is well, a hassle! Have a great trip!

  2. 2

    Free said,

    I love that bit! Have only been on a few planes, but each time I get a buzz over the take-off. I sit there with a grin on my face, and in my head I’m yelling Vroooooommm like a kid playing with a toy plane lol.


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