It's Blogtember from Story of My Life Blog! I've made it to Day Four! Shut the front door!!!
Friday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.
There was a moment - a quick, soul-clenching moment of fear on a plane in the middle of the Pacific Ocean ... somewhere between Australia and San Fran ... definitely not quite close enough to swim to shore. The lights on board went dark. The fear rose in the cabin so quickly that you could practically smell the stench.
A low hum of worried voices buzzed ... people nervously shifted in their seats. My mom whipped her head to me. I blinked back at her in the dark. The girl between us braced herself with the seat in front of her and began to dramatically pray out loud. I slumped over in my own seat, my eyes closed to the night.
Immediately, flight attendants were up and down the aisles.
"It'll be okay."
"It happens sometimes."
Something within me wanted to scream that no, it doesn't really just happen sometimes and no, a dark toilet on a plane thirty thousand feet on the air is not okay.
I looked out my window and didn't see the wing lights. The only thing I did see was the inky darkness of night. I couldn't see the waves of the ocean. I couldn't see the clouds around me. I couldn't see my feet below me or my knitting in my bag. I couldn't see the words on my book or the cup in front of me.
I began to pray my own little prayer - either Jesus needed to turn the lights back on, or he needed to calm down the girl next to me, because if we were going to crash, I'd need some light and I didn't have time to calm down the batshit cray-cray girl next to me.
Priorities, you know.
Eventually, the "emergency pathway lighting" did, in fact, light.
As the sun began to rise, we passed over the International Date Line. My eyes adjusted to the sudden sunshine and I let it wash over me.
The longest night was over and dawn had broken.
Each time I step on a plane, I'm blessed with the knowledge that somewhere, someone is watching over my journey. Since my dad is an engineer for an airline, I feel like he would never put me in harms way. That added assurance generally tamps any remaining fear that rises up within me. And you know, I've been flying since I was six weeks old. My mom strapped me to her chest and flew home to Nebraska on a cargo plane with me and my brother ... from Guam. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. Nothing even close.
Countless miles I've flown, and yet, nothing will quite prepare you for the announcement that the cockpit is having some troubles. That they're working on the problem. That things should be up and working soon. That supper service might be delayed. That you should stay in your seat to avoid any injury. That, oh by the way, there might be some mild to moderate turbulence.
You're just never quite ready to hear an announcement that no, you're not really in control.
Not really at all.
** Photos were taken by moi on our Australia trip. They're my favorite out of the 17,000.
** I didn't really take 17,000.
** Happy birthday to my step-madre, Shelley today! Love you!