I don’t know what it is about flying that I love so much, or why I find barnstorming as captivating as I do. I suppose it’s the freedom from the world below, the things that have sometimes kept me from soaring into my best life.
Everything looks better from the sky. The feeling of transcending the mundane and rising to freedom is exhilarating. Flying is my favorite way to do that.
This particular sunset flight in the open cockpit of a 1929 New Standard bi-plane was courtesy of Ted Davis, one of the barnstormers who flew all day giving rides to folks who had driven for hours to ride in a bi-plane and indulge in a new adventure. The weather was perfect and this was Ted’s last flight of the day–as far as I know. He generously offered a few of us one last ride and we accepted.
For me, it was one of the highlights of one of the most perfect days I have ever experienced. It was my first takeoff and landing on the grass. As smooth as silk but the ride ended too soon. I was still in awe of that view as I drove out of the airport along a road that was lined on both sides with fireflies, or lightening bugs as we called them when I was a child.
I had driven from Florida to attend Dewey Davenport’s Barnstorming Carnival in Springfield, Ohio. It was a weekend of lighthearted adventure, joy, excitement, and camaraderie that I haven’t experienced in a long time. And best of all, I was in my element, in the sky with the birds, the wind in my hair, and no desire whatsoever to return to earth.
Falling in love with life happens when we are present in the moment. You have to slow down long enough to let the miracles catch up with you. That Saturday was one of my miracles. I am certain I shall remember the weekend for a long time. And I will return next year for another dose of charm from a bygone era which now doesn’t seem to be as bygone as I previously believed.
Technology and other worldly distractions connect us in the virtual world but not so much in the real one. We’re plugged in but not turned on. Life happens in between the electronic distractions that have come to rule the lives of many modern citizens of the world. It sometimes feels like the thrill is gone.
Then comes along an event like Dewey Davenport’s Barnstorming Carnival and the thrill is back. Life feels easy and real. The present moment catches our attention and we fall in love with life again. We relax and take in the experience, the miracles show up, and everything seems possible.
Back at home in Florida, the memories from the Barnstorming Carnival linger and settle deep in my heart. I am grateful for the rides, the wind, the new friends I made, the privilege of working with Dewey and the warm welcome I received from everyone. The excitement of the barnstorming life clutches at my heart and makes me laugh out loud. I cannot remember when I had so much fun.
The magic and the music of an era that has intrigued me for most of my life has drawn me in once more. I am falling in love with Life again. I can hardly wait to see what’s next.
It’s Never Too Late to Be Great! ®