August 25, 2015
(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)
|Planes fly close overhead at Friendship Park as they approach the landing strip at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Glen Burnie, Maryland.|
The sound of overhead planes has always held a special excitement for me. When I was a teenager, Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was then called Friendship Airport. I was six years old when it was built in 1950 and it was not unusual for families like mine in Baltimore City to take field trips to the outdoor observation deck at Friendship. I remember walking to the end of the observation deck and looking down on planes—so huge and close—being loaded with luggage. Each plane held a promise of adventure, excitement of the unknown. I felt powerful engines shake the ground beneath my feet and I marveled at the busy blinking lights.
My family counted pennies but I used to imagine what it would be like to travel on one of these huge jets. I had pen pals in England, France and Japan and dreamed about meeting them one day. Now many years later, more than I ever dreamed has come true. I’ve been able to travel to numerous European countries, New Zealand, Australia and Japan (three times). And the revving plane engines still excite me.
As our world has become more complicated and our country’s fears have grown, we no longer have access to open observation decks where we were so close that we could yell to the baggage handlers below. After 911 when flights began to resume at BWI, David and I, in sober reflection, drove to Friendship Park one night to watch planes approach the landing strip. We wandered out on the “do not trespass” section so we could stand directly under approaching planes and feel that we could almost reach out and touch them. Our bodies felt the air vibrate and our spirits felt defiance, victory and hope as planes zoomed so close to us that we could almost touch them.
Tonight we took our new Belarusian friends to Friendship Park to share the awe and excitement of watching the planes approach the landing strip right above our heads.
I still get goose bumps every time we go there.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: