Musings from 36,000 ft

Sometimes there are moments when you travel when stuff just hits you. Running back and forth to another continent for a weekend is fun, but it can also be stressful. I’m not sure why, but on my recent flight back from London, I had one of those experiences. And I wrote about it it the moment
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It’s been a roller-coaster weekend when it comes to my emotions, but I have to say the capper is happening right now. I’m currently speeding 36,000ft above the earth at over 900 km/h over the coast of Greenland. Most would say this is an odd place to have a “moment,” and generally I’d agree. I’ve flown over this spot likely tens if not a hundred times, but this is the first time it’s had an impact.

I had just finished watching a silly comedy and I happened to glance out the window just as we were approaching Greenland. Not a cloud in sight. The large ice-fields shone in the moonlight and the ocean cut dark paths inland, as if trying to break the mighty landmass. And all I could do was stare.

For a good 20 minutes my eyes, my mind, my whole being was focused on that transition; light and dark fought for dominance. My mind wandered to the state of the icebergs slowly floating away, wondering where the nearest narwhal pod was hiding, and how long it would take to walk across the giant glacier that was slowly making its way to the ocean.

I’m not sure why tonight was any different than all the other. The sky was clear, unusual, but there was something more at play. I felt compelled to watch the coastline as it transformed from ocean, to fjords, to mountains, to the inland highlands. Maybe it was because I’m not sure how much longer this sight will be around. Or perhaps wondering how many starving polar bears might be roaming the frozen tundra just trying to survive. Or maybe it was just the realization of what an amazing place we get to call home. Whatever the reason, this will stick in my mind as one of those moments where the pieces all click.

Unfortunately the pictures I tried to take turned out dark and blurry. But I will share them as a reminder that we need to look with more than just our eyes; and I plan to start doing a lot more of that.

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