There is something about “being there.” I wrote about the phenomenon in the past (see Being There, published July 7, 2011). Most of us have heard it in the past, but there is a great amount of truth about the phrase, “being there.” Looking back over four and a half decades of flying, I have had a few of those been there moments.
Getting up early in the morning to fly is one of those times you just had to be there to enjoy the beauty of flying in still, cool, morning air. Watching thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico late in the day while sitting on the beach with the setting sun is another of those moments. There is no way one can adequately describe the exhilaration of a catapult shot off the deck of an aircraft carrier. It ranks only second in the satisfaction of a well-flown pass to a number-3 wire on landing when you return.
Anyone looking back over their lives have had similar experiences. Sometimes words, either written or verbal, fail to convey a beautiful sunset; a gorgeous sunrise; a triumphant moment in a loved one’s life; or another, grand, moment. In other words, you just had to be there. And if you were not, you missed it.
Many times, you are the only witness to one of those great moments. You later try to describe the event to family or friends, or even strangers. And you are unable. They missed the moment because they were not there. Sometimes you will try to convey the event to others, while at other times, you just stay quiet and enjoy what you, alone, experienced.
This morning I experienced one of those events.
I was coming back to the house from picking up the garbage cans and returning them to the garage. As I was walking along the path in the front yard, a beautiful owl sailed by, no more than eight or nine feet away from my face. To say he was huge would be an understatement.
The air was calm, cool, and smooth. There was not a thermal bump in it anywhere. The owl soared past barely moving his wings. He looked at me and I looked at him and then he flew silently on across the road, started flapping his wings for thrust to climb up to clear the neighbor’s rooftop across the street.
He was beautiful. And in the still, calm air, he flew perfectly. He made me want to go find a plane, kick the tires and light the fire.
I wish I had been carrying my camera – it would have been the perfect “grab shot.”
©2016 J. Clark