a comforting hum travels through the body of a plane before it taxis on the runway. it conveys a warm engine, ready to both obey and defy the laws of physics. as the aircraft makes its way to the strip prepared for its take off, the hum changes its tune. a low vibration takes its place, stealthily moving out of man’s hearing range.

then, an unnerving silence. hands clasp in an involuntary prayer. there is nothing reassuring about the roar that shortly follows. fingers tighten as the vehicle speeds up and bodies press harder against the seats. with each passing second, gravity loses its battle against thrust and lift.

lift off! a few moments of uncertainty as the plane decides to stay in the air then a turn, a dip, and it’s straight onwards.

i open my eyes at the blip that indicates it’s safe to remove my seatbelt and recline my seat. the choir of seatbelt clicks and hurried steps towards the washroom indicate that all is in order again. that we made it up and all is right with the world.

and my breath steadies once more.


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