I guess I wasn’t as afraid of flying as I thought. I started my vacation with a fear of getting on a plane and (get this) flying to Mexico. It didn’t help that we had to get off our first flight because there was an issue with the rear air conditioning unit. I immediately thought of the movie Final Destination. Not something I wanted to think about mind you.
After an hour wait, I found myself strapped into a chair as the pilot apologized for the delay. Then we started the slow ride toward the runway. I watched the various structures as the plane raced down the stretch of road and without warning I could feel the pressure in my chest as my ears clogged and I thought I went deaf.
“Eat this,” my wife said handing me a piece of gum. She must have seen the panic in my face.
“What’s this supposed to do?”
“It will help relive the pressure in your ears.”
I popped the gum in my mouth. It helped some, but I couldn’t hear well. I mustered the courage to look out the window and was amazed at how beautiful the land and seascapes looked. The last time I was in a plane I was around thirteen. I don’t remember much of the experience as I slept through the flight thanks to Dramamine. Soon, we were in the clouds, the. Above them and it was there I understood the beauty of flying. As if suspended between the heavens and the earth, I discovered a kind of peacefulness I had never felt.
I didn’t care about the destination, the delays or even the fact that I really needed to use the restroom. I only cared about being in that moment of calm. And by having that experience, the feeling that I was going to die was replaced by the feeling of experiencing what it meant to feel alive.