Requisite Airplane Window Shot

First sightings! A much shorter journey than the Cook expedition, but 21 hours and three airplane meals later, I see the green of the North Island for the first time.

I’ve explored the the map of New Zealand for over a year now, so I feel a certain theoretical familiarity with the place. But breaking through the clouds to the sight of the tip of the North Island sent a little shiver down my airplane-seat-contorted spine. It’s real. Topographical. Beautiful.

I include the window shot as an ode to my grandparents, Betty and Lewis Whitney. How many home shows did my brothers and I sit through, viewing the grainy slides of their trips to China and through the Suez Canal? There was always a window shot in the show, or two, or three. Flying was more of a novelty back in the 70s. While Grandpa clicked through the opening of China and the barges of the Suez, we children jockeyed for space on the slightly scratchy couch cushions, eating Pringles and waiting for Grandma to resupply the onion dip.

My grandparents loved a good adventure, and they freely shared this love with us. They brought back kimonos and coins, pottery and chopsticks, but mostly photographs which they loved to share. It’s important for children to see us exploring, be it out in the wider world or adventuring close to home. I’ll leave you with a quote that’s been on my board at school for many years now, and it’s all about taking chances, for whatever that means to you:

What will our children do in the morning if they do not see us fly?

-Rumi

Also, finished. I know you were concerned.

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