Across America

‘There are some nasty storms so we’re adjusting our route.’
That’s the sort of announcement that would have left me a little anxious in the past. I seem to have become accustomed to a nomadic, flying lifestyle quite quickly.
New York is more than just Manhattan. I knew this, but seeing it makes it real. So much of our take on reality is shaped by the media, what we view on TV, in the papers and online. Reality is so much more. I may have been stuck in my little room for too long. That’s my own fault. It is easier to sit still and let my reality be shaped than view the awesomeness that is out there.
Now I have a window seat. I want to see the awesomeness. Across the ocean the plane was brand new, bright and shiny. I’m now on something a little smaller and older and tired. It drinks up more fuel to deal with the altered course, then trundles down to the runway. The thrust of the engines pushes my fellow travellers back into the seats and we begin to climb.
I am struck by the size. It used to be a little walk down to the coast where I was. I know that won’t be the case now. A little over 500 years ago this land had not been consumed. Now it is both consumed and a consumer’s garden. Cities, towns, factories, highways, farms… so many farms… so many farms… like patchwork across the continent, carefully laid out squares to provide for the consumers.

The seatbelt signs remain on for most of the flight. We dodge thunderheads. They rise up to the 38,000 feet at which we fly and seemingly higher. Storms rage below. It is a wonderful view.
Then we are approaching our destination. It has been a long flight. I have travelled back in time once again. My day has been extended by 8 hours. I am arriving at the state I will call home for the next couple of months. It looks wonderful; the forests, the river, the volcanoes.
We land. I have arrived. I collect my case and leave the airport. I wait for the shuttle to arrive and take me on the final short leg of my journey.


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