Flight Lesson – 17

Like an anchor escapement in a clock, my wings pendulum swing rhythmically.  Advancing us across invisible lines of space and time, one small push each swing, a driving force paces me.  Latitude lines lay parallel beneath my feet.  Longcase pairs, my biplanes’ wings align with linear meridians.  Both mutually marking time in degrees, perfectly. Silently.
Striking quarter hour chimes, we ring our lifetimes in events instead of minutes.  Birthdays, anniversaries, and deaths are place markers on our clock’s face.  Marked with large lines, events check time off of an imaginary timeline.  We fast forward through bad memories and rewind good years.  Counting up while counting down.  Losing all the minutes in-between.  We pace our life with giant steps, instead of floating slowly through it on fabric wings.  In flight, time passes differently. Patiently.
Time travelers in flight, pilot’s lives are measured in degrees of minutes and seconds.
The minute the terror of a wrong turn recoils into the peace of a right one.
The minute the cloud burst dissipates, arching seven rays of colored light across your bow.
The minute the climb through the turbulence ends in smooth air.
The second the tingle of a temperature inversion lays on your skin.
The second the smell of a gust front sends a chill up your spine.
The second the sun spreads out beneath the horizon and explodes into red.
Precious minutes and seconds of time we try not to fly through so quickly.
These are the minutes and seconds that make up our timeline.  Not events in a logbook to be logged and lived linearly, carefully.  But real rich moments, full of color and light and life.  These moments cannot be simply put to paper on a line, signed with a date, time, place, and pilot’s name.  These moments in flight transcend time, stop time.  Nature’s forces forcing us to be present.  Suspending pilots in in-between like wide-eyed witnesses, in awe of the air.  Marking each magical second, that makes up every minute of every flight.  These ephemeral moments in flight manipulate time.  Altering the length of pilot’s lives. I believe each minute you fly, adds a minute to your life.

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