30 October 2009

It's A Plane View

        Full of purpose, two black birds chased the crow. The crow dived. Climbed. Maneuvered.

        The black birds hit. The crow flinched.

        "Go, go, go," I urged the crow.

        The crow dipped over the hill, and two black birds retreated.

        Good for the crow. He got away, I thought.

        The crow came back into view flying up above the gently rolling hill. Only this time he was shrouded in a cloud of 50 black birds.

        Bad day for Mr. Crow.

        Even free flight has its perils, I suppose, yet I've always wanted to fly, self-propelled, just to soar in the clouds.

        In fact, I can still remember my first flying dream. It took place on the street out in front of the house.

        My brothers and our neighborhood friends were giving me instruction.

        "You have to get as high as the neighbor's pine, so you don't run into telephone wires," one brother said.

        "You have to run fast and will yourself up," the other brother said.

        So I tried and failed a few times and tried again.

        "Up! Up!" Everyone was chanting.

        I was shooting straight up in the air looking down at the little people milling about on the street, some waving me on.

        With very little control, I flew around viewing the world from above and finally landed in the high school baseball diamond a few blocks away. I walked home.

        Who knows why we dream. Some say it's a way for us mighty humans to process all the daily information we're subjected to. When we sleep, we store experiences in our database in case we need it at a later date.

        I think that's why I stopped remembering phone numbers. The database is full, and paper and pencils are highly functional.

        I had another flying dream last night. I have a half dozen or so a year.

        Haven't crashed once.

        The fun thing about them now is I know that I'm dreaming, so I take risks and do loop-de-loops like the biplane I saw at the elbow curve out on the Estrella.

        Boy, that looks like fun, but you would have to pay me serious money to have such pleasure.

        The country is a fine area to watch birds and planes. There's so much to see.

        For instance, what's that rumble? Why it's a C130 Hercules cargo plane just now flying over the house looking as big as ever.

        And those buzzards flying sideways in the side yard the other day. What were they after?

        Well, it turns out a dead snake.

        The cruising vultures were just doing their job. The cargo plane was probably delivering something due east.

        The black birds were protecting their nest from the crow, and the crow was probably looking a meal.

        Every bird and every plane has that freedom of flight but still had a purpose.

        Except perhaps the biplane. Maybe that's why humans dream. To do loop-de-loops.

{First printed in San Luis Obispo's newspaper The Tribune, May 2003}

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