Skippy the implanted defibrillator and I are off on an adventure; hopefully one that does not include Skippy's actually getting involved. I wrote this post on the long travel day; it started around noon or so and ended I don’t know when. It’s an overnight day with a 7 hour time difference and I don’t bother with that math. But it is a long travel day.
I have logged enough business travel miles that I should be deeply travel-jaded, and in some ways I am. Destinations are fun; most of travel is tedious at best. But amidst all the annoyance of the long travel day – luggage, delays, costs, TSA. Amidst all of that, there is the one thing that I still love. The one thing that apparently will never turn jade.
It’s the actual flying. It’s flight. It’s magnificent, and it never ceases to delight. Most of the time, like all seasoned travelers, I’m an aisle-seat person. Anything to make the day easier. But on this day, my first leg was up the east coast. From NC to Philadelphia. I am not a million-miler and there are huge swaths of earth I have not seen, but I've been to a fair number of places. And there is still not much I enjoy more than flying the east coast on a day like today. On this flight, I always, always, always get a window seat. Always. On the east-facing side of the plane. Picky.
The first bit is dull, but then we reach water. The Bay and then the ocean. We come north up the western side of the Chesapeake, then the eastern shore, then the Atlantic coast around Maryland and Delaware. On a day like this, even South Jersey looks magnificent. Partly cloudy – enough clouds so they somehow make me miss scuba diving on walls, though that’s tough to explain. Enough cloud that there are layers, discernible layers. You are above all clouds, then under some and over others. In an instant. Enough clouds that you can almost feel them. But not so much that it’s a solid blanket.
Days like this it is astonishingly beautiful - the coast stretching below and breathtaking clouds outside. And just partly cloudy enough, partly sunny enough – that the sun reaches through to the tops of the clouds outside the window. So we get that white. That one in a million white. The “can that be real?” white. I always see it as ‘Renoir white”. It turns up in his paintings – as a speck of light reflecting in a small dog’s eye and as a bigger dab in the bottom of the wine glass. Renoir white. Impossibly white.
It was a quick, magic hour and I loved every minute of it.
Small choices. Had I taken an aisle seat, it would have been just another mildly annoying flight, delayed with many loud children. Barely a flight at all, just travel.
A wonderful start to the adventure. A choice day.