I don’t just travel because I love to go to places. No, I also travel because I absolutely love flying. Not everything about it, of course. I’m not a huge fan of turbulence, and the whole airport scene can be trying, to say the least. And, oh my goodness, there’s not much worse than a middle seat in coach. On a redeye. Which I just did a few days ago on our return from Tahoe and am still feeling a little battered from.
But those things aside, there are also moments of the sublime. My lucky husband gets them more often, with his fantastic view from the cockpit, which is indeed probably part of the reason he became a pilot in the first place: he absolutely loves a grand vista. They are admittedly tougher to come by back in the cabin, but they do happen. Like the time the kids and I were flying with him to Brussels for Thanksgiving, and he had the flight attendant come and wake me (as if I were actually sleeping) so that I could look out the window and see the Northern Lights. Or last week, on our way to Lake Tahoe, when the pilot announced that we could see Bryce Canyon if we looked out the left side of the plane.
And look I did. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the unbelievable beauty out that window. Flying over southern Utah: Bryce Canyon, the Ute Mountains, a view unrolled below me that took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. It felt as though I was being given a glimpse of the Divine.
But I think that isn’t too far from the truth, actually. God is the ultimate Creator, after all, the ultimate Artist, the ultimate Writer. When we create, whether that is through words, through music, through art- whatever way fills our souls, we are connecting with His heart. Have you ever felt like you just wanted to climb into beauty, to grab hold of it and keep it, to grasp it and make it yours? For me, that becomes a painting or a photograph or something that I have to put into words. To me, that is a yearning for the Divine. That is inspiration.
And there’s just something about having a God’s eye view of the beauty of this planet that inspires me.
** How appropriate that this gift would be given to me on my mother’s birthday. Lucky her, she gets to be connected with God’s heart all the time now. Happy birthday in heaven, Mom!
*** And by the way, the photograph above is not in fact Bryce Canyon, nor was it taken from the plane. I didn’t have my phone or my camera with me at the time, nor could I have pulled my eyes away from what I was seeing long enough to have snapped a photo. This is indeed a desert scene, but it is the Mojave desert, taken by my daughter in Christmas of 2016. From the ground.