We used to live near a small airport where the presence of planes was as common to us as birds, clouds, stars...the sounds from a small engine as familiar as the squeak from the swing set, the traffic on our street. I grew accustomed to the sight and sound of small aircraft; a comforting, calming activity that took place far above me, but seemed as close as my outstretched arms. I would ride my bike by the airport, watching take-offs and landings and sit in the grass on the edge of town, pondering the lives of those aboard and dreaming of my own future flights
When we moved to the country, far from city or airport, I missed the lull of the engines, the reflection of sun on silver against the sky. The constant hum of highway traffic a mile away seemed a poor substitution for the roar of a small plane overhead.
This morning as I came back from my morning walk, I heard an airplane as it headed north towards the city, an hour away. And it struck me as strange because it seems that lately, I've been hearing more air traffic. Medic helicopters travel the path over our house that links two cities, small planes seem more common now and occasionally, I hear a jet far above as it begins its descent. So why was it I rarely heard anything the first two years we lived here? Perhaps there is simply more air traffic, more flights. Perhaps new routes have been established that now take planes in our direction. Or maybe Air Traffic Control sensed my loss and directed aircraft to satisfy my aerial yearnings (um...probably not)!
I'm beginning to suspect that they have been there all along. I was so used to having them close by that it took little effort to see or hear them. Now everything is vast and wide and the sky has opened up more fully. The sounds out here don't command that you hear, but whisper their presence, asking that you listen.
And so it is with life. We get so accustomed to sights and sounds, comforts in life, people that we love, that we take our commonplace for granted. One of my mother's favorite sayings is, "Think how happy you would be if you lost everything that you had.......then got it back again." We do take things for granted. We forget to listen and appreciate and then when we lose it, we want it back again.
Most everything that we want is before us if we just open our eyes and ears. Don't just look, but see. Don't just hear....listen. And appreciate.
The planes are there.....