I can say with some certainty that I understand how a broken winged bird must feel. Once you’ve tasted flight, felt the wind in your wings, looked down on Earth from a clouds view, how could you live a life grounded for the rest of your days?
That first flight with wings outstretched, a touch of uncertainty in the back of your mind, but enough spirit to just let go and off you soar. Your face in the wind, a deep breath, wings out, flaps down, full throttle and racing down the runway you go. Rotation speed obtained and the lift catches your wings and up you climb. God, it’s a beautiful feeling!
From my first time to my last cross country flight, I never lost that fascination or excitement when I flew. There’s something absolutely amazing about soaring on wings above the Earth, looking down and seeing the city below, bustling and pulsing, or seeing field after field of luscious corn or hay growing beneath you, or even floating over a lake, calm and still. There’s a fresh breath of life that I feel when I’m up with the clouds, like an eagle, wings stretched wide, soaking in the stunning colors or racing the sun as it tries to set on a return flight.
Most broken winged birds never fly again, and I feel sad for them. I’ve been fortunate to have wonderful friends that let me tag along for flights while I’m still recovering. I can’t imagine how miserable I’d be if not for them. I love photographing our adventures. I’ve come to love tagging along and taking the pictures as much as I love flying. I actually get to enjoy the view even more sometimes, because I don’t have the distractions that come with having to stay focused on flying the plane, navigating and communicating. Although, I love when I get a chance to co-pilot too.
I’m so excited to know that going through this breast cancer battle will mostly like be a ‘pause’ in my flight training, and not a permanent grounding as I originally thought it would be. It’ll still be a while before I can begin training again but just knowing that day will eventually come has breathed a new hope into my days. Getting opportunities to photograph flying adventures with my friends, as well as going to air shows fills me with joy while I’m waiting for the rest of my healing to be done.