Mmmmm…..what IS it about the rumble of a Boeing 777 lurching down the runway that screams possibility to me?

My heart pounds like a jackhammer. My skin tingles as if electrified. My ears ring as engines strain to depart the planet. As we race down the runway, my spirits lift in our quest to bond with the sky, leaving my worries behind, firmly rooted to the earth.

Such is my love of flying — each departure brings tears to my eyes as we take to flight.

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My love of flying was preordained — my father was a private pilot and he took us everywhere the boss would allow. My first flight was at three months, although mom never tires telling the story of my 2-year-old face smashed against the window, gazing in awe as we left the ground. She says I showed no fear, just shear wonderment at our ability to soar with the eagles and beyond.

Again Daddy, again! Let’s dance in the clouds!

I would yell over and over as he would steer us back into the marshamallowy billows. Such freedom! Such adventure! How was this possible?!?!

Time would only heighten the rush of being alive and the sense of freedom once airborne. I would go on to an engineering career with Rolls-Royce, the aircraft engine manufacturer. Forty-seven years later, life’s answers still reside at 34,000 feet. I’ve traveled to 44 countries and yet I feel there remains so much to see. Endless possibility exists just beyond the runway.

It will be 10 years in August since my father passed away. To this day, I always think of him as we hurtle toward the heavens; saying a silent “thank you” for instilling a love of flight that pierces me to my very core. Perhaps I feel closest to him as we dance our way through the clouds.

beyond the runway

Poem my dad kept in his office at the airplane hanger.