Friday, November 14, 2008

Seeing Ghosts in The Clouds

I'm not fond of flying at all. It's not for the reasons most people might think. I'm not terrified that I am going to meet a fiery death when the plane crashes into the side of a mountain. It's what I am NOT going to meet that makes me apprehensive about flying.

This wasn't always the case. There was a time when flying was special. It meant that I was going somewhere different, doing something fun. Then I moved across the country from my family and flying became the method of transportation that brought me home to them and, sadly, took me away from them. As time passed and took its inevitable toll, airplanes took me to see my Mom as she suffered set back after set back. Ultimately, it brought us all home to say goodbye to her. Since that trip to Tennessee in April of 2004, boarding a plane has been a chore.

It's not the hassle of waiting in line and being patted down in security lines. It's not the uncomfortable seats and the germ infested air. It's the clouds.

I saw a report once about people who have seen the spirits of loved ones amongst the clouds when they fly. It always sounded like a crazy concept. Always until there was a spirit of a loved one that I desperately wanted to see. Now, each time I board a plane I pray for a window seat. Not so much so I can rest my head and sleep away the flight, but so I can gaze out the window looking for ghosts in the clouds.

In the past 12 months I have sat on more than 20 planes, staring out the window, searching for a glimpse of one of the faces that I see in my dreams, in frames, in the face of my daughter. But all I see are clouds. And that's why I hate to fly. I hate that I don't see them. I hate that I spend hours peering through that scratched plastic oval in vain.

I'm in Savannah, GA tonight. I sat on 2 planes today and the second was a little plane which means it flies lower and closer to the clouds. There was a pretty full moon and a storm brewing which made the clouds glow and sparkle with the occasional flash of lightning from within. It was actually beautiful. Beautiful but empty. Not a friendly face to be seen. Just sparkling cotton. This is likely and hopefully my last trip for a while and there are a lot of reasons why I am happy about being grounded. But the thing that I am most looking forward to is the absence of disappointment in the clouds.