Diary (1) “Over the waves, alone “
Posted on May 23, 2008
Diary (1) “Over the waves, alone “
I can’t go much higher.
I’d like to, but the clouds are too low.
And the visibility sucks…
I’m required to have three miles. As per operations manual specifications.
Have I got that?
Maybe. Just. It’s only marginal, though. And it’s hazy as hell.
The wind is picking up. The white wave riders are on the gallop. There’s twenty five knots there, at least. Maybe closer to thirty. Not good. It’s dead against me. My ground speed is suffering. I may not make my destination. In that case, I’ll have to divert for fuel enroute. Where? Eugene Island one eighty-eight? Perhaps.
Boy, it’s getting dark. Seven o’clock in the morning, the day is only starting, and the world is turning a dingy, dark gray.
I am alone.
Over the waves, alone.
At times it’s great having passengers. I enjoy chatting with the front seat guy. Always interesting. Fascinating stories.
But this morning, I am going out empty. Just some cargo. I have the cockpit to myself. Time to ponder, and enjoy the beat of my trusty steed. The sound of the wind going by, the background howl of my turbine engine.
I love this bird. The mechanics do a terrific job. Everything works, she’s positively purring along. The rotors beat smoothly, with a minimum of vibration or shudder. She’s fast. Roomy. Comfortable. And.. she’s mine. My bird.
November Four Niner One Papa Hotel. Mine.
Oh, the legal title may belong to some helicopter corporation. But that doesn’t matter.
Up here, she belongs to me.
She responds to my slightest touch on the controls. Bank slightly left. Climb a fraction. Check the heading. Adjust. Scan outside for traffic. Punch a button on the GPS. Check my position. Adjust the torque. Check fuel reserves. Okay. Doing better…
I am alone.
Only my thoughts, my deep, innermost thoughts, and unspoken longing.
In harmony. With my bird. A quiet, inner song.
A rhythm, that flows smoothly with the wind passing around my rotor blades.
Lord, how I love to fly!
Life… this is life.
Alone, over the waves. Traveling at one hundred and thirty knots. Listening to the motion. The motion of gears, and shafts, and blades, and turbine wheels. And the whirring of my mind. And the restless hum of my spirit…
I love to fly. I find it wonderful to be trusted with such a splendid, gleaming machine. Given unto my care. Two million dollars worth. This is my toy. My big toy. Mine.
As I told my little wifey: “I’ll get a real job one day, honey, when I grow up… “
And she, the love of my life, shaking her head sadly, spoke the words softly.
“I guess I’ll be married to a big kid for the rest of my days then… “
Do the big bosses have any idea how much fun I’m having? Probably. When I walk in, with a big grin from ear to ear, they can guess. They probably think I’m just a big kid too…
I pass an invisible line. I switch frequency, and report my position to the next controller.
He knows me.
“Good morning, Francis! “
There’s a smile in his voice.
“Morning, Rod! “
The sky, if anything, is darker. I worry a little. The visibility really is right on the lower limits. I can see where I’m going, but only just. I check my map. I’m well over half way.
Lord, I love this life.
I never tire of gazing out over the waves. I never weary of studying the sky. I never get bored with the feeling in my hands, as I rest them on the controls. I can feel the machine talk to me. It’s as if she feels safe in my hands. She knows I’m cautious, and respectful of Mother Nature. I don’t take chances. She knows that…
I love this life.
Oh, the sky is often dark. The visibility is often hazy and obscured. Exactly where we are all going, that’s hard to know.
But every so often, sometimes just as the darkness seems to be enveloping us, there comes a small gap in the ceiling. Through which, tantalizingly, we can catch a glimpse of sunlit clouds. Rays of light dance over the waves. Romantic music plays in my mind.
Vangelis… is playing the ‘Main Theme’ from ‘Missing’.
Mantovani’s orchestra… is playing ‘Memory’.
And in the background, ‘Cavatina’ from the ‘Deer Hunter’ seems to wrap the fragile light beams of hope with soft, compassionate chords of gentle musings…
I enjoy the brief show. I crane my head up, and study the small gap. The hint of good things to come. The hint of the promised land.
A hint of blue… and it’s gone again.
Dona nobis Pacem…
Grant us peace…
Of the enormity that awaits us. Is there a God? A kind, compassionate being? Who listens, kindly, to the restless whirrings of our tiny minds? Who enjoys big kids playing with big toys? Who knows a Harley Electra Glide from a Honda VTX 1300R? My kind of God? With a sense of humor? After all, if he created us, then he created our sense of humor as well, right?
Part of me is convinced there is. As surely as I know there is a blue sky, and bright sun shine, waiting, patiently, above this ceiling of dark grey and black. As surely as I know that I will reach my destination. One day…
One hundred and thirty knots. It’s fast. And yet I want to go faster. For the thrill of it. But I also want to go slower. Because I don’t want to arrive at my inevitable destination just yet.
Oh, okay, I’ll admit it.
This little boy is having…
…far too much fun…
Last edited by Francis Meyrick on August 26, 2011, 11:21 am