Like a bird…

In a cloudless sky, the sun holds the world in its compassionate arms and seeps through the window with a warm smile. It takes an interest in us too. And in the early hours of the morning weary lids come to the rescue of eyes made shy by this embarrassment of riches.

As the soul contemplates the vast, majestic landscape, the intellect is busy splicing together the frames of the film that just snapped. Now it’s breakfast time: tea and a sandwich... But how it looks! Such a spread you’ve never laid eyes on! A feast for heart, mind and eyes. Not to worry about the stomach...

We are in a land of miracles: The eyes comb a vast horizon. We reach peak altitude as if ascending in an elevator. Squinting eyes seek the sun, astonished. Down below fields go by, as if drawn with a ruler; the clouds assume they expect water. Mountains loom into view, traced by thinning ribbons of blue. We fly over small lakes, like puddles. People? Nowhere in sight...

“We are flying at an altitude of eleven thousand meters.” It’s the captain speaking. Curious glances survey the exhibition put on by the sky’s cottony shapes. As children we viewed the sky’s vast blue from between the clouds. Now we try to scan, to grasp, to understand the earth, this time from the other side of the white clouds that line up shoulder to shoulder. We trace the distances of our childhood from high above, a barely perceptible smile on our lips...

As we peer through the tiny window at the vast cottony world of clouds, we shudder briefly as the data on the screen reminds us of the outside temperature, and piping hot tea comes to the rescue. Suddenly the earth looks more attractive, the color of the sky a little brighter. The clouds become a soft bed, the rainbow a fine tulle curtain, and the sky’s limpid blue is even more bewitching.

We are caught between a mini-earth and a pristine sky in a contest of blue and white whose boundaries are invisible to us. “Man,” we say, “is like a bird”. Even in this breathtaking landscape we expect immediate union with the beloved.

Like a mischievous child, the smiling sun says ‘Boo!' at the window. But a nagging question troubles our minds and we wonder: Do we miss out on this smile down on earth?. The sun is smiling, but “think not of who’s smiling but of who’s making it smile”. As we hear the words in the depths of our being, things get slowly bigger and catch our eye: earth, sky, dream...

The clouds disappear, the sun is far away now. Buildings, gardens, roads come into view. We gaze down on the roofs of the houses and dive into the current of the rivers. We are caught up in the speed of their motion. With mingled awe and admiration, we pick out the cars, and the miniature figures moving frantically along.

Then suddenly, ‘We are starting our descent to land'. The mechanical announcement disrupts our train of thought. As we leave the world of cotton, the words form on our lips and we murmur, “Man is like a bird.”

Seatbelts are fastened; how quickly everything gets bigger. Mountains, buildings, the sea, the sky, people. The plane’s wheels touch down, seatbelts are unfastened, everyone is in a hurry to get off.  ‘The near’ is coming. our feet touch the ground; our eyes seek the old familiar sun.
And the familiar cottony clouds. We gaze deep into the sun’s eyes and smile a friendly smile. Voices rise and fall: anxious, joyful, sad. The rat race begins again. ‘The near’ recedes.  “Welcome” say the smiling faces. “Hoş geldiniz!”

We beat our wings, like birds. “One more frame...| “But we aren’t frightened any more. They feel familiar now, the high altitudes.  “Good bye,” we feel like saying. “Let’s remain friends!”  Have a pleasant flight!