…how utterly, unreasonably, unbelievably, lucky I am.
And sometimes I’m reminded.
As I thought about what to post about yesterday’s flying I was gearing up for a rant about the semi-mythical “green” buses that are the bane of my flying life. This particular one had decided to sail merrily by me as I stood with my arm stuck out into the road, at the end of the lane to the airfield. I hopped up and down on the spot, and swore, and waved my fist, and chased him, and after a few metres he deigned to stop and pick me up. In my mad bounding along the verge to catch up with him, I put my foot ankle deep into a bog.
I was not impressed. I was highly ticked off and ready to rail about it on here to my heart’s content.
And then I caught myself.
I had a muddy sock as a result of a days flying. (a day’s flying!), and what was on my mind? The muddy sock. Hang on a minute…
Needless to say, I gave myself a severe talking to. I reminded myself that flying is not about muddy socks! It’s about the leaping delight as the wheels left the ground for the first time in a month of rain and wind and scrimping and saving and beans on toast again.
It’s about trying to convince myself that the only reason I’m rolling the wings back and forth and swooping about the sky, is to check for traffic against the low, morning sun, and not merely because I feel happy just to be back in the sky again and am all childish grins at the fact I can move the controls and make this little aeroplane go where I want it to go.
It’s about spending a long, lazy, laughing lunch with a crowd of like-minded people. About silly jokes and good-natured teasing, and tall tales and cooing over one another’s aeroplanes. Conversations casually paused and restarted if interrupted by something interesting in the sky, and no one thought rude or odd for it.
It’s about the angle of climb into a stonking headwind, with 1200′ on the VSI in the little tommyhawk, that had me alternately whooping with glee, and nervously pushing the nose down before I found myself conflicting with overhead joiners before reaching the end of the runway!
It’s about the way the late afternoon sun burnished the river Severn and turned the bridges to sweeping silhouettes like something from a traceried cathedral window.
It’s about crossing the last of the hills between me and home with the sky still blue, but the clouds pink and the sea golden and not wanting to land. Dawdling above Three Cliffs Bay before finally turning towards that beckoning runway, the only one left in the air here at the end of a flying day.
I’m unreasonably lucky and can’t think of anything I could possibly have done to deserve such delight in my life on a regular basis.
Which brings me to the other thing I wanted to post about this trip, which was meeting Mandy from Fly2Help, a remarkable charity which aims to share some of that same delight with people who often haven’t had very much to be delighted about in their lives.
Some of the stories she was able to share about the trips they’d made had me (and I wasn’t alone!) struggling to keep from tears right there, and her enthusiasm was infectious.
They also have two gorgeous aircraft (a Chipmunk and a Super Decathalon) available for training, with the profits going to the charity. Something else added to my must-do list for this year!