Flying While Grounded


The air is hot, mosquitoes buzz about one ear, then the other. A bright moon exits from behind the direction of shadowed forests as the coyotes attempt a howl in the distance. The birds of the night sing what little is left of the sunlight to sleep, as the crickets are now at full volume. I carefully listen as their sounds attempt to sync, coming together, falling apart, varying frequencies intertwining in search perhaps of harmonies or harmonics.

There are times, on nights like these, or in certain moments during the days, when I feel close to such harmonies, but almost always I remain just slightly out of sync; just enough to recognize, but not quite enough to believe. A little knowledge of science, and a lot of mental health training to suppress illness can do that — dampen, if not put the brakes on what might have otherwise been a spectacular experience.

I sat one day, in a moment such as this, though it was daylight. I found a place, surrounded by clover, trees, and a great many insects. I had been learning to meditate. I would sit for an hour, insects be damned. I found a peace I did not know I could attain during this hour. Bug bites meant little. Annoying insects of all kinds were not even bothersome. I thought to myself, “Were I surrounded by a great many voices trying to alter thoughts, and subsequently direction, I will not waver.” It was enlightening to say the least, especially in an age where scrolling through news feeds, pop-up notifications, or the various other distractions that can steer one away from personal intent often do just that.

Our direction in life should be our own in an ideal world, but it would be foolish to believe a great many of our paths don’t cross, if not impede the directions of others. Difficulties often lie in determining when it is appropriate for the red light to change, so that where paths intersect, traffic doesn’t become overwhelmingly backed up.

As Saturn sits nearly washed out by the light reflecting off the Moon, as Venus shines in the western sky with Jupiter above, I find myself missing moments like these in conversation with others. These are the scenes where lives can be as momentarily intertwined as the insects singing in harmony.

A plane overhead carries passengers to Denver, with (I suspect) not a soul aware that somewhere in the darkness below, a small light still shines, if only from a pocket-sized computer. “I’m still here,” I write, knowing most likely there will not be a reply, at least one that is verifiable. Maybe it’s enough just to know that up there planes still fly, whether or not I remain grounded.