Lightning lit up the terminal. “We will load the plane in 15 minutes. When there is a break in the storm, we will be ready for takeoff.” I looked at my phone: the three-hour forecast showed 100% next to clouds with tiny bolts. I was 50% relieved and 50% terrified.
On my way home from morning meetings in DC, I pushed a twenty hour day. A Dallas airport bed didn’t call my name. However, I worried a bit about the golden pillars slashing the sky.
On the plane, the pilot assured us, “We’ll probably not have a beverage service, as we’re expecting a choppy sky. This flight is normally 45 minutes but we expect a 1hr and 10 min flight as I’m taking a route around and to the side of the storm.”
Sure enough the fasten seatbelt sign stayed lit, along with the sky. Off in the not-too-far-away distance, light razors pierced clouds. Each illumination transformed cumulous puffs into shades of white, pink and blue. The beauty of the storm transfixed me, and every few minutes our plane shook. Our crowd remained in a silence that bordered prayerful. If passengers broke the hushed hope-ride, I didn’t hear them. I whispered reassurances to myself, “This pilot knows what he is doing. They wouldn’t have taken off if it wasn’t safe. The lightning is far off.”
Here is the thing: the lightning looked about a block away. I’m no meteorologist, but I do know that lightening traffic isn’t assured. The random swords of white don’t always slice with prediction.
Needless to say, I was relieved when we landed. Our plan danced the good dance. We tangoed with the weather and came out on top. No one was around to explain the risk we took and of course with liability, who would? However, I can’t help but wonder how the decision was made. Who said “let’s just go for it, these people want to get home.” Because that is what it felt like, even though I am sure plenty of scientific-based regulations took flight.
Daily, we face “lightning” to land in our desired location. Life is random and full of risk. Insert stats on driving a car and walking down the street. So much of life compares to climate collisions and chance. What were times you weighed the risk and realized facing the sky needed to happen? When does staying “grounded” not satisfy the need to get “home”?
Your Brave Tutu (You’re Brave Too-Too)