My palms became sweaty, throat tight, veins throbbed and heart pumped overtime.
But it was the thoughts which were worst, irrational yet unstoppable ones of plunging to the depths of the ocean. For over 20 years each time I flew, this experience was repeated.
Now, reflecting on the past six years of constant travel in which my preferred mode of travel is flight, I wonder at the transformation
“If you have a fear of flying, don’t. The data are very clear: If you have to travel someplace, the safest way is by airplane.”
Yes, I had tried the logical apptoach, thinking of the statistics and choosing airlines with a strong record of safety but the terror was still there. It wasn’t until I came to terms with my mortality, that I could sit back and enjoy each flight whether I experienced strong turbulence when crossing the Java Sea or watching the serene and beautiful panorama of the coral coast or the snow covered mountains.
“Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw.”
Now, as I look forward to each flight, I ponder the possibility of dying mid air-for whatever reason- and think it one of the better ways to go, knowing I had overcome my fear and experienced the beauty of our earth from the best vantage point.
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”