Thirty-thousand feet up in the air a circle of sunlight on a plastic tray table transports me further than the plane I'm in ever could, to a time and place lodged in the happiest corners of my memories, where I keep Christmases and home-comings and everyday bits of my childhood that make tears well up in the corners above my smiling cheeks like dewdrops in the creases of a daisy.
The warm beam hugs my small frame as I lie on the floor, stocking feet swinging in the air, chin perched on tiny hands above elbows planted in rough gold carpet. The crowd from the tv screaming behind the roaring white noise of jet engines and oxygen circulation systems, as though even an Airbus can yell, "go Pack, go." My mother cheers. The man behind me snores. I ask my daddy for some more popcorn. I take another sip of my hot tea.
The bright light creates rainbows on my paper at the edges of the window's shadow, rainbows on the golden carpet fibers enthralling my curious young eyes. I glide my hand, smoothing the paper, watching a hundred dazzling, sparkling stars dance and twirl on the plastic wall and someone else's seat, my aging eyes behind corrective lenses still enthralled by the magic splendor of prisms in the sun.
Outside, the dark ridges of the Appalachians flow under a sheer veil of mist as a river winds off in the distance. Outside, the world is brilliant in the gleaming white of a Wisconsin winter, clear and cold. Skies of the brightest blue.
I am grateful to be tucked inside, in my sunbeam, warm and glowing, from the love around me, from the memories inside me. In my mind. In my heart.
A Ranger, A Photographer and A Blogger walk into a Jungle. — The Ranger. Let us call him Fred, for no other reason than reason itself. He is a rookie ran...