Saturday, July 09, 2016
The Wonder of Flight
A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to the International Air Show. This was a fantastic event with lots of static displays and demonstrations. We got to go inside the cockpit of a Herc. We saw jets, the Harvard Formation Team, the Skyhawks parachute team and more. It was really hot and there wasn't much shade. People were huddled under the wings of the planes to escape the heat. It really gave new meaning to "under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4 NIV).
The highlight of the day for me was seeing the Snowbirds. Most of the crowd seemed pretty relaxed, whereas my heart was in my throat the whole time. It was terrifying. They flew in various formations, wing tip to wing tip. The skill and precision of those pilots was truly awe-inspiring. The show made me so proud and grateful for the men and women serving our country.
After the show we stopped off at the community garden plot where I saw this little guy busily pollinating our garden.
After the noise and busyness of the show, the garden was stunningly quiet and tranquil. And for all the power, skill and technology of man, this little miracle of flight also filled me with awe and wonder. For all we accomplish, we still depend on these small but mighty workers. Fly you high, little bumblebee.
It seems that flight has been a theme for me lately. From bugs, to kites, to planes, my eyes have been turned upward in expectation. And I can think of no more beautiful words on the topic than those of John Gillespie Magee Jr., a pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II:
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flug
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew--
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.