Love, Life, And Formation Flying [#TheFlyingMom no. 5]
This past week a childhood dream came true. Years of anticipating its arrival and finally it was here, and as quickly as it arrived it was suddenly gone. A wonderful vibrant moment that became a memory I will always hold dear on this journey I am on. I could be talking about any holiday I suppose, but I speak about is the biggest family reunion in aviation. Oshkosh. As I looked around with the new friends I had made with familiar souls… It made me reflect back on how I got here. How I got lost and how I forgot how to fly at a certain point in my life. The sky is always with me, like the road except there are no boundaries from the dirt or gravel but open sky. The sky has shown me how to love, it’s shown me heartache giving loved ones back, and I’ve received more presence in her gifts of being present that I can ever count.
There is a song within each of us, that when doing what we love plays in unison with the world around us. It is a wild, peaceful hunger, and a treasure of your heart. That treasure finds itself being complete in that moment. A moment which would suspend time and show you a glimpse of what heaven is. I have been the biggest romantic believing in soulmates and someone else completing you. For me, I have come to realize that can’t be further than the truth. That fire that feeds our soul, that God given ability to see and live how we were each uniquely designed… is how we were intended to live. That doesn’t exist outside of us but from inside our own heart.
The drive, path, adventure, journey, song, dance, whatever it is… that’s what completes you. Spend your life in pursuit of those passions.
I went into marriage being, for lack of a better analogy, as a single engine plane. The idea was that two individuals became one entity. But as most aircraft designers would probably agree that when you try to combine two distinctly different aircraft into one design or add on to an existing design, all you end up with is a mis-rigged ball of metal chaos that neither satisfies the goals intended and loses the uniqueness of the original plane. The romance of the machine is lost as the integrity of the single engine was welded into the other. The spirit and soul of the individual were never designed to be broke but intended to be loved for its spirit. I’m not against twin engine flying. It’s what I do for a living, but the airplane was designed from the beginning as a twin. We are designed as singles.
What if the whole point in life is to formation fly? Let that sink it. It’s trusting your ability and training, requires a lot of communication, and small corrections. It admires each pilot’s ability and skill, yet when together are a beautiful formation. When separate, they are also beautiful traversing through the sky. Formation flying is an art, a dance. Unlike dancing on the ground, in the air, the roles of lead and wingman can be interchangeable.
We all grow at different rates all throughout our life, always, until our very last breath passes over our lips. For me, if I view relationships with the twin engine mentality I’m bound to get mad, frustrated that we aren’t growing at the same rate and that’s no way to love and appreciate one another. Charles Lindbergh once described barnstormers as sky gypsies. While in flight they would meet in the air with a playful dance and follow one another and land in a field. Solely enjoying one another’s company and where they are on their journey, and when their paths separated they wished them well. You can’t force another person any more than you can force another plane flying next to you to do something. All you can do is fly your plane. Live your life with your choices. All this other nonsense is just that, nonsense.
So that’s me. A single pilot who welcomes the journey of another. I know my worth, my heart, value and what sets my soul on fire. If there’s a pilot that comes alongside me, embrace the journey for what it is. Life isn’t meant to be forced but encouraged and supported. If it gets turbulent, break formation and meet up again if able, if not wish each other well and keep flying into the night sky.