Thoughts About Flying

This week I’m in Los Angeles for work, and flew down Sunday evening through Salt Lake.

Flying out of Salt Lake, the sun was just setting, brilliant pink, over the ridges of the mountains that ring the airport. You know how some sunsets are a range of colors tumbling one after another? This one was all pink, chased down by deepening shades of blue. We flew through several layers of clouds, and I watched and marveled at the brilliance of that pink pushing through the variable gray-blue gloom of the clouds. It was so beautiful, and I lack the words to do it justice.

Sadly, electronic devices were not yet permitted, so you’re stuck with my sad description.

I find very little about flying these days enjoyable, but one thing I still enjoy is landing at night: how as the plane descends you approach this broad, flat expanse of lights. Some of the lights are moving, some stationary; and as you gradually get closer the lights and the flat expanse shift, and you can start to see structure and dimension, almost like portions of the earth are rising up to greet you. I like to think how those still and moving lights relate to people; maybe someone is walking underneath that streetlight; perhaps the garbage is being emptied in that office window; or how the light spilling out of a living room window might be waiting to welcome someone home.

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