“If you never have, you should.
These things are fun and fun is good.”
— Dr. Seuss
This blog is usually about the simple things in life, but this time I want to talk about something a bit more complicated: human flight.
A few weeks ago I took a scenic plane tour with my Dad and stepmom, Dianne, in a tiny Cessna.
We flew over the patchwork of farm fields and forests surrounding St. Thomas, Ontario, craning our necks to see if we could spot any marijuana fields below. In addition to a strained neck, Dad also had a throbbing head, having smacked it off the low-hanging wing as we boarded with our pilot.
I’ve been on plenty flights over the years but for the most part aboard huge 747s and other monsters. The flight I took from Whitehorse to Dawson City this past summer was certainly a smaller aircraft but still nothing like the cramped 4-seater Dad, Dianne and I were in.
For the first time I had a real sense that I was flying. With the bigger planes, you don’t really feel like you’re soaring through the clouds. Even when you hit big pockets of turbulence in jets like a 747 you’re still somehow disconnected from the wonders of flight. In the tiny plane, however, I could feel every knock of wind, every slight increase or decrease in altitude, every minor change in direction.
It really gave me a new appreciation of the mind-boggling science of flying. We’ve come a long way since these days:
Flying in the Cessna in St. Thomas was a reminder of some of the many incredible things we take for granted. This CK Louis video is a favourite of mine on this topic (and he talks about flying in it as well):
Depending on my mood, I usually look at this in one of two ways.
- Glass half full. Wow, humans are such a clever species. Surely there’s hope that with such ingenuity we can overcome problems like war, poverty and climate change.
- Glass half empty. Wow, humans are idiots. We can dump billions of dollars into space exploration but we can’t adequately invest in real problems like war, poverty and climate change?
How full is your glass on this issue?
Either way, like flying, there is plenty to be awestruck at on our little blue marble. I for one am going to try to be better at this whole marvelling thing.
Flown in a Cessna? Check.
Duane Elgin, author of “Voluntary Simplicity”, talked about the “invisible wealth of experiential riches.” My “I’ve Never Club” is inspired by this idea and chronicles my reflections on the novel things I’ve done recently.
Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of the book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.