Flying Into Heaven


After five glorious days in the Southern US this past week, I had to fly home yesterday.  I left a piece of my heart in Georgia.  Beauty as far as the eye can see, even right in the heart of the downtown district.  Even in the places we were told not to be walking alone.  Beauty.  Spanish moss, which although apparently neither moss nor Spanish, and full of a bug called a chigger which will eat you alive if you touch the moss, hangs everywhere, giving it that unique look that is so… Southern.

The Savannah Airport was a dream to fly out of when I went to leave yesterday.  Though, I truly did not need to be as early as I was.  It’s been more than a decade since I flew internationally, and so I thought I’d follow the requirements that wanted me to be at the airport 3 hours prior to boarding.  My plane took off at 4:30, so I decided I should be there at 1.  By 1:30, I was sitting reading a book waiting to board at 3:50, haha.  Oops, could have spent a bit more time around Savannah, but Mom needed to get to Orlando anyway, and it’s a long drive, so I read at the airport.

I was going to write this post last night, as I have to take such ridiculous amounts of pain killers to be able to fly without tears, and of course they’re non-drowsy, that when I landed in Toronto, I wasn’t tired at all… but there was a bit of panic following landing in Toronto, and by the time I got home and got myself (and all 3 dogs) in the door, I wasn’t so wide awake anymore.  So I’ll try to do this with the eloquence that I could accomplish it with last night.

I am so glad though, that while I could have saved a few extra hours in Savannah, I’m glad my flight left when I did.  The way the sun shone on everything as we took off was completely spectacular.  I had a book in my bag that I was completely prepared to read the whole way on both flights, but I couldn’t stop staring out the little teeny tiny plane windows for most of the trip.  Especially heading over the mountains in Virginia, the way rivers mingled in and out of valleys and up and down mountains, winding through sleepy little towns (or at least that’s how they look from 20,000+ feet in the air) was breathtaking.  I snapped a few photos from the air, though they’re hard to capture, and not many turned out.  All photos taken from my iPhone.

Check them out.

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I’m clearly wearing lime green… but check out South Carolina below.
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another airplane on a different flight path off in the distance 🙂
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Another plane on a different flight path headed for somewhere else 🙂
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a big river right before we flew over the mountains in Virginia
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The mountains in Virginia from tens of thousands of feet above, through a thin veil of cloud cover.

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We flew into some pretty thick cloud cover as we headed for the Great Lakes region.  I had to transfer in Detroit.  We landed with water streaming off the windows, because, you guessed it, last night it was raining in Detroit.

I had a little over an hour between flights.  They boarded us back onto the plane in Detroit on time, which I was thankful for.  I can’t stand sitting around at airports.  I had just finished a book before landing in Detroit where one of the chapters was about how stress can lead to weight gain (well, not the whole chapter, but it was mentioned), and how these daily opportunities to be stressed out and frazzled are equal opportunities to be gracious, thankful, and patient.  I thanked God for the ability to just switch planes with ease…. and then we didn’t take off at 8:00.  Or 8:10… 8:15… At 8:20, the flight attendant finally came over the speaker to tell us that there was a mechanical issue with the plane and we were waiting for a mechanic to show up to determine whether we could stay on the plane or have to switch.

We had to switch.

We finally took off at 9:30, and I was finally headed for Toronto.  Not overly bothered by the delay, I just kept reading, and decided to be thankful that whatever the mechanical malfunction was was caught before we were in the air, and that we didn’t have to make an emergency landing somewhere or worse yet, crash.  I’d rather leave almost 2 hours late than crash.

I was pretty content, and like I said, wide awake from the pain killers needed to fly (I forgot to buy Advil Cold & Sinus in Canada before we left, so I bought it in the States… I use it to make sure my ears actually pop… had to get it from behind the pharmacy counter and sign to assure the Pharmacist that I was going to use it for medicinal purposes only… apparently you can make Crystal Meth with Advil Cold & Sinus).  As we were headed for Toronto, I’m sure because we left almost two hours late and therefore didn’t have the same flight path/plan, we had to wait to land… so as we were flying across SW Ontario, low and slow, I was caught by the beauty.  The sky was clear, and the lights were all lit up in the cities below.  I could make out the end of Lake Ontario.  I found Hamilton, Burlington, St. Catharines, and more, just by knowing where they are in proximity to the Lake.  I found Lake Erie when the lights stopped, and the towns on the other side of Lake Ontario were a faint glow of light in the distance.  It was stunning, spectacular, breathtaking.  All I could do was whisper “wow” under my breath as we flew over.  I found the CN Tower and the Downtown Core as I flew past it and looked down on it, from thousands of feet above and at the other side of the city.  The expanse of Toronto is incredible.  I mean, I know it’s big.  It’s the biggest city in Canada.  I know what it takes to go around it to avoid it when the traffic’s too busy… but to fly around the outskirts, slowly, at 10,000 feet, waiting for the go-ahead to put the bird on the ground… that was new.  The only other time I landed in Toronto it was day-time, and I hadn’t yet discovered that sinus medication makes it so that I can in fact land without pain.  I was distracted to say the very least.  This time, the breathtaking intricacy with which everything around me has been created was not lost on me.

After we were given clearance to land, the pilot started to descend, and as he did, we went through a low-lying patch of dense, puffy, grey clouds.  Right before we disappeared into the clouds, the view out the window was nothing but strikingly beautiful, puffy mounds of grey beside me, and a black expanse with the crescent moon above.  No city, no lights, no cars (because before we dipped into the cloud cover, we could see the cars on the highways… I found the 401, the QEW, the 407…), just me, the clouds, the moon, and an airplane.  Oh, and millions of people below and a bunch on the plane… but at that moment, none of them were really there in my world.

I couldn’t get a picture.  We were in “no electronic devices” mode as we were below 10,000 feet.  But someone managed to, because I Googled it and I found it.

 

See what I mean?

Now imagine disappearing through a veil of clouds, and it all goes away.

Once we hit the runway though, that peace was gone… my phone decided not to find service, and I couldn’t let my ride know where I was.  I had to go through customs while panicking about my phone, and I was doing my best not to freak out, but by the time I got to the exit, through customs, with all my bags, and NO IDEA where my ride was, I lost it.  I cried a little bit standing in front of a payphone that I had to use my credit card for.

Not my shining moment.

BUT we found each other, my phone works again, and life is good.

Life is very good.

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