I’m not sure why I share this, maybe it’s just been all-consuming and I need to cast my thoughts your way?
Today I launched into a beautiful sky! Once clear of the mountain side, I wiggled my butt deep into my harness and got my feet in the stirrup just in time to hear my vario scream. I felt the steady pull upward, and leaned right forcing my wing into a flat turn and following a thermal upward. As I looked down, I saw a Raven below working the same ribbon of air.
My harness is as comfortable as any lawn chair, and my view…. how can one improve on a bird’s-eye view? I looked at the valley below, and note my remaining days are numbered. I reflect on how different people are, and what is important to us. My thoughts once again turn to a vision of being old and crippled with no way off the porch. What would it be like to spend long days there with no memories of climbing mountains, sailing the waters of Puget Sound, or best of all.. sailing across a deep blue sky?
I reflect on my friend Ken B. who lost his life the week prior chasing his dreams. On his Face Book page is a plea made by another not to take our lives for granted. I know that message was meant for me and others who share the same passions Ken did.
I’ve been thinking about risk assessment VS luck assessment, again.. it gets right back to how different we all are. I don’t gamble at all when it comes to games of chance and money.., I think it’s crazy as the odds are so NOT in your favor.
Social Networks like Facebook add a new and eerie dimension to death. I visit Kens page and see his smiling, and almost boyish fiftyish face. He looked more than a little like Clint Eastwood, and there were times when he had the same quiet manner. I see my posts there, posts of mutual friends… and of course his last post.
His FB Page is like a Shrine, the essence of his life, pages of good times and great times, and now the only entries that will ever be added are by his friends. “We miss you Ken, but few of us have had the time for it to sink in how final our parting is. I’ll always remember that last cell call.. “It’s a piss poor connection Ken, there’s a cold oatmeal stout waiting for you at the LZ”. I hope he heard that…
As for my day, it sucked mostly… but that afternoon flight changed my mood… It was a perfect launch, and I flew as long as I wanted and then came down from the mountain like some hawk and landed with a flair, and a smile that’s still there.
No one can take away the living I did today, nor can they take the good memory. I might relive it one hundred times when I can no longer stray from the porch.