Wednesday, November 12, 2008

. . . and the sky was on fire . . .

So I've been out of town the last couple of days. I flew home last night - barely. I boarded the plane on time, and then a minute after I sat down I noticed that no one else was getting no the plane. Sure enough the flight attendant came on and told us we all had to get off the plane because the Houston airport had been closed by heavy rainstorms. So close! Finally, after a 90 minute delay, we reboarded and took off. As we were heading out, the flight attendant told us we were taking a somewhat different route to avoid the storm system. Below is an illustration of the normal and new flightplans:

Normal Route

"New" Route
Yes, the flight took twice as long as normal.

And did I mention that the plane smelled like poo? And I don't mean the cuddly bear with a honey pot! It seems the air-o-potty had a few issues.

But, for the last hour or so of the flight, I was treated to the most phenomenal light show I've ever witnessed. And I've seen July 4th at DisneyWorld!

As we skirted the edge of the storm system I got to watch - rather close - the lightning discharges. Not just the ones you see on the ground, from sky to earth, but also all of the cloud to cloud strikes. I wish I had had my camera. It also reminded me of how small we are. All the effort we take to fly, and one of these random flashes could take us out of the sky. All of our clamoring for energy and electricity to power an unending appetite, and here is casually thrown around enough power to run the whole of earth's greedy demands. Humbling.

I'm glad to be home. I'm glad to have had a chance to see what I saw. (And no, the picture below is not my plane. This is from a plane leaving Japan. Read about it here.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that sounds like an amazing experience.

Glad that you made it home safely!

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