From the air, any country I’ve ever flown over, from Canada and the US to the UK or Central America, look so beautiful and yet so similar.
Everything is a mixture of hundreds of shades of greens and browns on land and over the coasts and lakes it always a swirling of blues, whites, and aquas.
The mountains, from 35,000 feet, are less intimidating and more like child-drawn rough lines across the landscape. Some are capped with the white and light blues of fresh snows, some are dusty and brown, barren and desert-like.
I’ve flown over the Grand Canyon and it looks like the Earth is injured, a giant crack zipping through the plains, open and dry.
I’ve sighed at the fresh green patchwork over Ireland, the green multi-sized squares bordered by darker greens, like a pieced-together grandma’s quilt, lush and fresh and full of promise.
Beaches up the coast of Mexico look dry and hot but where the white surf meets the tan sands, the heat looks inviting and beaches stretch in curving, drawn-out “u” shapes far into the horizon blurriness.
Buildings and highways, industry and factories, they all grown small and shrink as we climb.
They are tiny shapes, dwarfed by the sheer land mass they live on as we rise higher, able to view more and more at once.
|San Juan Islands|
Islands become scattered dots, elongated and stretched, surrounded by a flat concrete of ocean. Boats and ferries look less like fast transport and more like small insects, crawling slowly along the deep navy blue floor.
|Somewhere over the Atlantic|
As we move up ear-poppingly higher into the clouds, floating and streaking through the beautiful white and sliver fluff, I forget.
I forget about the busyness of life.
I forget about deadlines and projects and upcoming appointments.
I forget about drama and stress and what lies ahead.
I forget what’s below me for an hour or two.
Yet as I forget I’m reminded.
I remember that down there, life goes on.
Down there, people can be the same wherever I travel.
People can be kind, understanding, and helpful.
A small souvenir shop owner can chat with me about making our own jewelry and he can take the time to hand craft me a wire flower to take home. His gift to me, a fellow crafter.
|Me & Eduardo|
A driver in Costa Rica, who spent the week carting luggage, driving a small packed bus full of noisy single women, can bond over the love of our pet dogs back home. We slowly heard his life story, and a quiet and gentle giant of a man was transformed into a friend.
|Mark & Me|
A tour guide in Scotland can make a single traveler like me feel welcome on a bus full of families and friends. As we seek out castles and battlefields he can chat with me about our shared love of history and music and entertainment.
A waiter at a resort in Mexico can be funny, full of jokes to make us laugh and tell us about his children and how proud he is of them. We can see how hard he works for his family though he only sees them one weekend out of two.
There are people down there, families and business people, people with dogs or cats, old people, children, schools and shopping malls full of people, and they all are driven by mostly similar
All people want to be loved and needed.
All people want their own voice heard.
All people want what they do to matter and to feel good about their lives.
I won’t forget about that, whether I’m flying high above the earth or walking down the street in my home city, I’ll remember that inside, people are just like me.
We are the same, all over the world.
A global family.
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