Sea of Clouds

Seat 15F Flight from Panama to Atlanta

We begin our descent, 60 miles from Atlanta.  I sit up in my seat, turn my ipod to Phoenix and pull the shade on the window. The sun is low and the  light graces the clouds beneath us; a gentle touch of soft golden light caressing the billowing cover. It looks like an ocean of delicate down, collecting below me in a current of rising peaks, churning out as far as I can see.

In an instant we are enveloped. It moves me. My breath catches involuntarily, and I am silently awed by the white light that cocoons the plane. Too soon it is over, and what was a beautiful bright scene is now a gray, dark wall overhead, reminding me that everything is a matter of perspective.

There is no sensation like waking up in one country and going to sleep in another. The experience is still magical to me. I imagine no matter how many flights I take or how much distance I cover I will still be humbled by this achievement. This morning I woke in a condo beside the Atlantic ocean. Tonight I return to Chicago, the smell of salt water and distant memory of Spanish chatter lulling me to sleep.