Plane sights

Windows are magical things. A seat by a window is always better than a seat not by a window (unless you’re on a long flight with an extremely somnolent neighbour who dozes off whenever you decide the time is ripe for a bathroom break). I drop contentedly on my window seat, though it overlooks a huge wing of the plane and watch the sky transition through colours as the plane takes off. After cruising altitude is reached, I see the sky again. It is banded neatly, with a blue layer at the bottom, then a yellow layer. Then follows a clean strip of dirty-red, the colour of dried blood, which merges into the bluish black expanse, with glittering specks of white provided by the stars. What takes my breath away, however, are not the bands, picturesque though they maybe. It is the curvature which I imagine I finally see. Suddenly I realize that the earth is indeed round, a fact I’ve been told several times over but never experienced.

The aircraft flies across space and through time, as night sets in. My neighbour has switched on her overhead lights to better see her knitting patterns. Her quick hand flies here and there, as blue strings mesh with green in the shape of a woolen hat and the light reflected by her hand-watch dances by my window fascinatingly. Distracted, I follow its movements until out of the corner of my eye, I see lightning.

I’ve seen lightning before, but always from below. But this time I see it from above. Neighbouring clouds light up a fluorescent electric white, as if someone has switched on a particularly strong flash light. And seconds later, I see  lightning zig-zag down to the earth lighting up the city  beneath that it strikes.

Explore posts in the same categories: thoughts, travel

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