TAKING FLIGHT; THE GREAT ESCAPE

Exchanging this....

Exchanging this….

As I write this, rain is thumping in vengeful torrents against my living room windows, just as it has done for around two hours. The wind is howling and shrieking like a Justin Bieber wannabe. Outside, the sky is grimmer than a gargoyle’s jockstrap. And yet here I sit, grinning like a proverbial village idiot. Oh, yes.

For the great escape is on. Ssshhhh…..

In a scant five days, I’ll be exchanging this grotfest for the warm, sunny skies of Miami and the Caribbean. Thanks to the lovely folk at Carnival Cruises, I’ll be pottering sedately around a quarter of sun splashed, Caribbean idylls. Hopefully, the only ice to be encountered will be in my lunch time margarita. Peachy, non?

This contrast between grim ‘now’ and glorious ‘next’ had the unexpected effect of making me ponder just how truly miraculous long distance air travel still is.  If all goes to plan, I’ll be touching down in balmy Miami just nine hours and forty minutes after departing from the unalloyed joy that is Heathrow. That thought alone warms me on some deep, inner level.

I’m on British Airways for my flight out; that airline usually does a fine job of getting me to where I need to be. In fact, I have used this same flight quite often. Coming back, I am at the tender mercies of American Airlines. And I don’t even want to think about that.

We all know the minuses of air travel, especially if you turn right at the cabin doorway. And the airport experience is never a joyride, no matter what class you fly. And yet, the sheer adrenaline surge of such an escape seems nothing short of miraculous right at this moment. The negatives can be dismissed with a casual shrug- for now at least.

They can be dismissed because the journey itself is a means to an end- a progression from dismal to delightful days. A bridge to the sun, if you will.

For this.....

For this…..

After all, if God had meant me to spend winter in such conditions as we’ve got right now, then he would hardly have put two airports within thirty miles of my front door now, would he?  That’s my rationale, and I’m clinging to it like a banker, hanging on to his last bonus cheque.

The idea of being able to get back to somewhere at once warm, welcoming and familiar, fills me with a kind of subtle, wonderful warmth. Oh, the joys of shedding four layers of clothing. To feel the warmth of the sun again.

In a sense, the journey has already begun. Anticipation is always the most sublime of appetizers out there. It won’t be long now.

And- my word- it just stopped raining. Quite literally.

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