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prayer in flight

I've loved flying for a long time. First, of course, it was jumping off the porch with grocery bags and squares of fabric as parachutes. Airplane flights were interesting trips, but the long ones got boring for younglings. Then I was nervous about turbulence, because I remembered not liking it.

But by the time I was teenage, I was utterly space-mad and reminded myself that hey, turbulence meant free-fall! After that, I liked turbulence a lot more, even if I didn't like being bashed about. My feet and hands ached on takeoff and landing, a reaction I knew was linked to my fear of falling.

Lately I've started praying on takeoff and landing, and at various times throughout the flight. Not, as I suspect other passengers are doing, prayers about not crashing and living to get to the destination, but a simple prayer of thanksgiving: Thank You for this gift of flight.

I suspect if I were ever to go up higher in a craft designed for that, that I wouldn't be able to see the sky black above me for the tears in my eyes.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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