Where nothing else matters…


I can remember my first trip overseas, the huge metal tub jet streaming through the Atlantic air and little me somewhere in the belly of this monster clutching my Bible and repetitively praying that the plane not only stayed airborne but safely landed in Amsterdam.  That was the first of nine flights I took in Europe that summer and if you had been a passenger on any one of those planes, you would not have missed the blond hair, ash white skin and black leather bound Bible.  You would have, however, missed my blue eyes because they were almost always closed in prayer.

I have always said that I never walk closer to God then when I was flying in a plane and until this past summer I avoided aircrafts like the plague. Then I met someone who changed all of that for me forever.  I still say a prayer taking off and hold my breath on landings, but I no longer spend every last second of a flight deep in prayer.  Instead, I’ve been able to take my attention elsewhere and have seen beauty in places I was too terrified to look before. It truly doesn’t get much more heavenly than this:

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I don’t get to fly much anymore, and (ironically) I now miss it terribly, but I have found something here on the ground that’s elicited a similar response: skiing.  I skied a lot as a kid, but quit when I moved to VA in the late 90’s.  The conditions were “sub par” in my superior Canadian opinion.  I’ve grown up (matured) since then.  There are only a few things as beautiful as the top of a mountain looking down terrain you may or may not survive and the only thing that reminds you of civilization are the other people that might be with you on the mountain and the wires carrying lifts up and down the hills.  Otherwise, the expanse is an escape only matched by the clouds in the sky.

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Flying allows you to leave the rest of life (worries, issues, problems, stress) on the ground and disappear into a solitude that is beyond comparison.  There are two places that do the same thing for me: alone on a mountain with the scenery and skis, and on a stage with a microphone and my musician family.  Everything else going on in the world disappears…

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