I like to take walks in the early evening, just as the sun is setting. It helps to clear my head, reflect on the day’s activities and wonder where my next steps may take me. Interestingly, I noticed that I tend to look up at the sky for most of the walk, not to the point of bumping into things or falling off the curb, but I look from the horizon up and not the horizon down.
In classic chicken and egg thinking, I don’t know if I look up because I love airplanes or if it’s because I love the sky and planes just happen to be there. In the few days following 9-11, it was eary not seeing any airplanes in the sky but I nevertheless still looked up. There is something about the infinity of the sky – it gives me hope.
Now, there is something to be said about terra-firma, it’s nice to have my feet firmly planted on solid ground and indeed the ground is teaming with life and opportunity, but the call of the sky and the great expanse beyond it is tough to ignore.
For generations the sky has offered us adventure, mystery and challenge. It has called to us as individuals and as a people, capturing our imagination and embedding in us a hope that if the sky can’t ground us, nothing can.
Shakespeare wrote, "My soul is in the sky." We often times see that quote used today as an indication of our passion for aviation. The line comes from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Act V. Scene I in which, in a Romeo and Juliet like scene, Pyramus thinks a lion has killed his love and unable to bare life without her stabs himself;
"Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead,
Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky:"
There was a time when the sky held a special fascination for most. I’m not sure if that is a valid statement today. Leonardo da Vinci penned the following; "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Now there was a man who knew my heart!