First Class Thoughts

img_1858High overhead there is an amazing ballet playing out.  There are players you know well, some better than others.  I had seats to the show once, and after watching it, experiencing it, I doubted my life would ever be the same.

I don’t think it has, but is there anyway to really know?

It started in Bellingham.  A beautiful sun soaked afternoon began to give way to reaching shadows and we knew our time to depart was near.  The airport in Bellingham is easy navigating and in short order I waited at the gate, hoping for a seat.

At the time, I was hoping for a standby seat to Maui, preferably one in the front of the plane.  The time of year was right for light traffic, and my luck runs to solid gold some days, and this happened to be one of them.

“Standby passenger Maguire” came the call from the efficient professional behind the counter.  As I approached the counter, ID at the ready, the agent smiled, “Great news, there’s room in first class, window or aisle?”  Usually, I prefer the aisle,  usually.  Today, with my sun soaked memory and a long flight in front of me, I opted for the window.

The background noise of the announcments, the flight times, the services gave way to the whine of the jet turbines as they spooled up and the press of gravity as we began to launch, or take off down the runway.

We climbed quickly, in a smooth powerful arc that brought us above the city and the earth and the noise and the clutter, it brought us, almost at once, to the heavens.

The thing with the heavens, is that from up high, everything looks different.  Familiar objects, places, things, shift in their focus as you gain in elevation.  The fascinating thing with the elevation change, is that the wonder of natural design becomes more and more evident.  For instance, as the traveller flies over the western slops of the Rocky Mountains it is easy to see how all of the precipitation will necessarily drain to the Pacific Ocean far away.


For me, two fascinating things occurred almost simultaneously.  As we raced south and west at 35,000′ into the now setting sun I looked back to the east.  Looking east I saw clearly the line.  The line that marked day and night.  Below there was a beautiful glow of sunset casting it’s last loving look at the western shores of North America, and beyond that, I saw the blue and the dim and the dark cloths of the light, the night and the half light, stretching all the way back to dark.  But up high, the line was clear, and it looked like night was chasing day right over the horizon.

What a vision!  What a thing to see, the knowing that beyond all of the dark of night, dawn was coming around.

And, looking down, I could see an expanse of clouds, glowing pinks and golds and the deepening reds as the sun’s light painted them before dark.  Below, in the clouds, a break, a hole, and far below, I saw the rolling ocean swell.

I watched the ocean rolling, and smiled, knowing that the enormous pacific ocean was there below me, and then the hole closed, and the ocean was hidden.  Perhaps, I thought, at this step in my evolution, my spiritual knowledge is akin to my knowledge of the coming dawn and the Pacific Ocean underneath the clouds.  I know there’s more down there than I know about.  I have caught glimpses of it.  It’s getting dark and there are clouds so I can’t quite make it out, but I know that sometime in the night we will land, and when the dawn swings around the corner, chasing the cool nightshades away, we will lounge in the healing waters of the deep Pacific, and know the secrets we wish to know.


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