October 24, 2010

Landing, Landing, Landing

As some of you already know, one of my favorite places to observe birds is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. This shot was taken last fall as geese touched down around me in what seemed a snowstorm of feathers and honks. It was a wonderful half hour or so that I can still hear when senses are willing.

When reviewing photos of that day, I am reminded of another landing twenty or so years ago. While returning to Seattle from California, on a large jet for which I have no number or name, my seat mate and I nervously stretched the limits of our collective dark humor. It was winter and our pilot was attempting to land in a harsh storm, which carried heavy wind gusts and enough lightening bolts to rival a Fourth of July celebration designed by Zeus. As we laughed and kidded about our impending demise the plane rocked and rolled through the sky, as if in sync with a hard rocking tune from the sixties. The lightening flashing about our wings fit right in with the theme. We circled the airport for a LONG time, not able to land because of the line up of rockers ahead of us.

When we finally began our decent, the plane (read pilot) defied odds by keeping the tilting to more of a crowd wave; wing to wing. Back and forth we drifted, tipping wings and bumping up and down. Every few seconds the lightening would flash allowing us to see our speeding "progress". One final lightening flash outside our window and we were bouncing and bucking our way down the runway. Just as we were completing our final few bounces, the female Attendant announced; "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are landing...landing...landing...in Seattle and we want to thank you for joining us on this exciting ride." Following a rousing round of applause from the passengers we departed, many stopping to vigorously shake the hand of the pilot.

Humor. It really can make all the difference. Beyond being grateful for our safe arrival that night, to this day, I remain equally grateful that serendipity placed the right fellow beside me for the ride. Someone else who saw the humor in their fear. As we headed our separate ways following our departure, we were both still laughing. Each time I look at this photo, along with the wings and honks, I hear "we are landing, landing, landing..."

6 comments:

Basket gal said...

Great story and photo! I agree, humor helps us get through everything that life throws at us!

Kittie Howard said...

Great story...I was rockin' with you the entire scary landing...your angel was definitely on your shoulder.

I don't understand why you don't consistently show up on my blog roll (went back for several of your posts, lovely!) Hope Blogger's not pulling Halloween tricks!

Teresa Evangeline said...

And, I love, love, love, this story! Thanks for making a rainy day a bit cheerier.

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

BG,
Thanks so much. We have laughed a lot, you and I, and it has served us well so far. Hope you are surrounded in the colors of the season!
Hugs,
Chris

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Kittie,
Thanks. I'm glad you were with me in the retelling and not on the journey. I think we all did a bit of early ageing that night. Not sure about the blog roll not working but thanks so much for reading earlier posts. Thought I was going to catch up on everyone else's posts last weekend but errands took over. Hopefully this weekend.
Hugs,
Chris

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Hey Teresa,
My pleasure. Hope the heavy snows I saw on the news haven't hit your area. Makes the rain, which we have been having for a while too, seem pretty good. I just keep remembering those images you made of freshly picked apples in dappled sunlight. Warms me.
Hugs,
Chris

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