Soaring

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I was excited about taking an afternoon flight.

We were going to fly over places that I’d never seen before (except in movies and on television, but we all know that doesn’t really count) and I was looking forward to at least getting a bird’s eye view of these new and – at least to me - undiscovered places.

My hopes of seeing anything from the sky in daylight was almost dashed when we arrived at the airport to an announcement that our take-off was going to be delayed for two hours courtesy of stormy weather brewing somewhere in the direction of our flight.

Luckily for me, the days are longer in June, so when we finally did take off later, the sun was still clinging to the sky.

The boy had graciously offered me the window seat, and he didn’t have to twist my arm very much for me to accept. Before we had even left the ground, I was sitting with my nose pressed to the glass.

But alas, before we had even left the state, a blanket of thick clouds had enveloped the plane. These stubborn clouds didn’t dissipate, even as we climbed to altitude. So about an hour or so later, when the flight attendants asked everyone to draw their window shades for the showing of the in-flight movie, I gave up on the view, pulled the shade down and began reading instead. Up on the small television screens throughout the cabin, several Hilary Swanks were boxing their skinny little arms off.

When drinks were served after the movie, I asked the older man sitting on the other side of the boy if he’d mind if I’d put the shade up again. He looked at me as if I’d just told him to go and sit on the wing. He frowned at me and shook his head in disbelief. I’m still wondering what he thought I’d asked him!

After the shock of his reaction towards me wore off, I decided to take the shaking of his head to mean “No, I don’t mind at all, you charming foreign girl you!” and thus proceeded to open the shade.

Outside, the clouds had vanished, and below, a multi-coloured world was unfurling in the dusk like a giant patchwork quilt. We were flying back in time, chasing the sun, and it was still light outside.

The landscape soon changed. It was as if someone had bunched up the quilt, because the flat plains of earlier were, seemingly all at once, interrupted by rocky, jagged hills, which soon turned into steeper, snowcapped mountains.

I opened the airline magazine and looked at the map, and guessed that we were in the vicinity of Colorado. Until that moment, I had never been further west in the U.S. than Tennessee.

A few hours later we touched down in Phoenix, Arizona.

The sun was also descending; its last rays kissed the surrounding hills, causing them to blush. Beyond the desert, in the distance, the mountains were still as blue as a cloudless day. I suddenly felt sad that I wouldn’t get to set foot on that land, and made a wish that I would be fortunate enough to return there one day.

8 Comments

kim said:

that description of the view totally gave me goosebumps, that's all... and colorado does look nice from above ;o)

deeleea said:

Counting down till September...

martha said:

duuuude! how long are you going to make us wait to tell us what you were doing there... please tell us....

Natalie said:

yeah, seriously--I am meant to live in the southwest.

miked said:

ah the skill of an amazing writer. Keep us coming back for more.

Red Dahling,
Welcome home.

So how was your vacation ?

Lauri said:

Red! I can't believe you neglected to mention the adorable kitty (Molly) and fellow redhead you met while in Phoenix! Smiles.

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Lauri : Red! I can't believe you neglected to mention the adorable kitty (Molly) and fellow redhead you met... [go]
  • bookstorediva : So how was your vacation ?... [go]
  • bookstorediva : Red Dahling, Welcome home.... [go]
  • miked : ah the skill of an amazing writer. Keep us coming back for more.... [go]
  • Natalie : yeah, seriously--I am meant to live in the southwest.... [go]
  • martha : duuuude! how long are you going to make us wait to tell us what you were doing there... please tell ... [go]
  • deeleea : Counting down till September...... [go]
  • kim : that description of the view totally gave me goosebumps, that's all... and colorado does look nice f... [go]
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