thoughts in the clouds


I haven’t sat in a window seat in years. We usually fly SouthWest, which I love dearly and which lets you pick your seat. I always chose the aisle. I feel trapped anywhere else. On the aisle I’m free to escape to use the lavatory, to get up to stretch my legs, to go visit any family members scattered throughout the plane, to do whatever.

But for our flight down to Houston, Dad’s company was paying, so we flew out of our little airport at home and had to fly Delta, which hands out seat assignments. I had a window seat.

And I’d forgotten how beautiful and mesmerizing the sky is. How the clouds pile on top of each other, each successive layer impossibly higher than the next – and there’s always one just above the plane, no matter the altitude. How when you look out at the horizon, you feel for a brief moment like you’ve caught a glimpse of the curvature of the earth’s atmosphere – and just then it seems you can grasp its simultaneous immensity and tininess. You feel your own smallness – minisculeness – and that of the earth in space. All in a second.

Then you’re just left with the clouds, wishing the same thing you have all your life: that you could hop out of the plane and bound across the sky, springing up the towering storm clouds and strolling through the wispy mist of the feathery cirrus ones, scooping up handfuls of silky soft, cottony turf all the while.

God must have been panning for the aeronautical age when he separated the heavens from the earth, otherwise why would he have made the upper reaches of the heavens so beautiful…?

The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

– Psalm 19:1



  1. Such a philosophical post for someone who made such relentless fun of her best friend’s distraction in a window seat…

    1. You remember the most random things. And in my defense, flying to Texas made me nostalgic and philosophical. Change makes it worse than usual. I’d tease you again tomorrow if you were flying with us. : )

  2. I always sit in window seat because of the reasons you just wrote about. Bonus is easier napping. The Army taught me to nap when in transit.

  3. Yes, you have discovered why I almost always choose a window seat on SWA. I try not to drink much before hand so I won’t need to use the facilities; I enjoy looking out at whatever I can see–ground or sky. It can be very interesting. I don’t have a need to visit family members. Usually Grandpa and I sat together–he most often gave me the window seat–very thoughtful. Now I am alone so have no need to see anyone. If I fly all the way across the States I may have to excuse myself at some point but it is worth the chance of seeing something really beautiful. Sometimes we have pilots that will point things out; that is awesome. Love, Grandma M.

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