Free as a Bird

I’ve seen an awful lot of birds thus far- everything from brown boobies to exotic hummingbirds to scarlet macaws to jabirus- and every time (except maybe in the case of tinamous) I’m just a little (or a lot) jealous of their ability to fly. 

Imagine catching a big thermal and just lofting up and up in a big, lazy spiral, or stooping into a dive before snapping your wings out and jerking back into the sky on sheer momentum. Imagine hovering at flowers, or snatching beetles out of the air with your face. (Maybe that last one isn’t as appealing.)

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Imagine feeling the power under you as your engines start up and your propeller picks up speed and you reach the end of the bumpy grass runway with just enough lift to pick you up over the short trees at the end and just enough thrust to push you out over the teal-green ocean before you gain speed and altitude. 

Well, that last bit I’ve done.

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We flew out of Corcovado with the gear- I opted for the aerial view this time, rather than the terrestrial. Our pilot was reportedly the only one who flies in and out of Sirena Station, in his little single-engine Cessna. He definitely knew what he’s doing, but it still terrified me a little bit when he landed, props still spinning, leaped out, and lit up a cigarette all within a few feet of the engine. 

He’s been doing this short trip for 25 years or something like it- I guess you get casual on the job after that long, and you really don’t see that many old stupid pilots- so we hopped on with half of the baggage and took off into thin air.

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The view was glorious, and the wind in my face from the open window helped with the illusion of my own personal flight. 

Until someone invents jetpacks for the masses, though, I guess that’s about as close as I’ll get to really flying. I’m sort of okay with that in an actual real-life way… but I’m going to keep watching those birdies and flapping my fingertips.

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