Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
September 11th, 2002

Flight Delayed

Taking to the Skies and Trusting in God

 
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“Turbo props are ok. They won’t hijack a turbo prop,” my ex-boyfriend insisted as I squirmed and looked for more reasons not to fly to my upcoming family reunion four states away. “There’s not enough fuel on a turbo prop,” he continued, “they need a lot of fuel.”

I haven’t flown in a year and I can’t believe that deliberating about whether or not my plane is a good one to hijack and fly into things with is what travel has come to. I used to love flying. Especially flying cross country. I’d stare out the window (I always got a window seat) and watch the rolling eastern green hills pass into the rigid squares and rectangles that bespoke the Midwestern fields. On night flights I’d watch for signs of light emanating from the Rockies and try to figure out what cities they were.

The inverted sky
The approach to landing back home in New York was alternately a treat and a trial. “So many damn people,” I’d often moan as I peered down at the rows and rows of suburban life sprawled out below me. But at night, landing in New York is different. In Manhattan you can’t see stars, there’s too much ambient light. But when you approach to land at night you see the night sky turned upside down. Inverted, the stars of God are replaced by the lights from street lamps, apartment blocks, and office buildings of humanity.

Super-size my paranoia
Now instead there’s the “they” to worry about. I admit I always checked out my fellow passengers with the morbid thought of “who will I die with if the plane crashes?” Now when I check out the other travelers, will I be on the hunt for the “terrorist,” as if one can tell who that may be. Will I try and spot the Air Marshal, like I pick out undercover cops on the subway? Will all this looking and considering make me suspect? My own paranoia exhausts me.

“Look to Me…”
In my exhaustion I turn to my book of daily meditations. In it I’m reminded to “Look to Me for all…Rely on Me for all. Drop those burdens, and then, singing and free, you can go on your way rejoicing. Encumbered with them you will fall.” Suddenly, I feel light. In my anxiety I’ve trapped myself both mentally and geographically. But God can and will lift this burden from me if I will only trust. New York’s lights may have dimmed, but God’s light shines steadily on.

On September 15th I’ll stow my tray table, fasten my seat belt, and say my prayers. EB’s in the air again.

 
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The Author : Elizabeth Bonwich
Elizabeth Bonwich writes from New York City.
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