Thursday, January 8, 2009


My nose nearly touches the glass as I peer out. Grey clouds, grey cement, gray terminals, framed by an airplane window. My heart reflects the widening space of brightness in the sky above. My toes scrunch inside my moss green tennis shoes as if somehow I can squish the excitement jiggling in my heart to a more manageable level.

The ground begins to roll underneath the grey wing of the plane, the air vents modulate a note higher as they pressurize the cabin. The scruffy winter grass is partitioned off by grey strips of runways, and the skyline of Birmingham is smudged in the distance.

Bounce, surge, lift, banking at a sharp angle to merge into the highway of clouds. Swallowed by an opaque grey… lurch, my stomach always comes down last. Brighter, brighter, slicing upward through the cloudscape as the sunlight bleaches the cotton white again.

While my heart is tumbling ahead of the plane across the cotton clouds, my mind remembers the grey dyed world below. It is always hardest to be left behind. Looking out the grey window of the terminal, a school room window, salt-stained glasses… wondering, with two feet on the ground.  The frame from which one looks makes the difference.

It is important to recognize the frame of reference that I am viewing the world from, and to acknowledge the degree of difference between my reality and the reality of others.  I wonder what windows the people I will meet will be looking through. I must remember to try to see and understand, for this realization is the catalyst for sympathy and tenderness for humanity.

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