an evolution of fear

My little one and I were out early this morning, getting in some stimulation and people watching (her need, not mine) before it got too hot.

As we left the store, we noticed an airplane relatively low overhead, and I remembered that there was a small plane airport nearby.

Off we went, armed with a new cheapo mat for mini picnics, ready to sit for a little while and enjoy the clouds and the breeze and some airplanes taking off and landing.

What I did not realize is that they teach and practice aerobatics at a flight school there. As we pulled into the parking lot, a plane was heading straight up, then flipped and then headed straight down.

My heart leapt up into my throat, an almost yell, adrenaline… all instant. All instantaneous responses to catastrophe. Then, the plane (calmly) pulled up, rolled a few times, and then circled to do it again.

I decided to watch myself watch.

Each time, the panic was there, but each time, the panic was less intense. I knew it was as controlled as it could be, intentional, deliberate, skill-based risk taking.

I also know my dreams are filled with small planes falling from the sky, so this felt very personal.

Look, I said to Della, they’re practicing flips and tricks!

She was not impressed, no more impressed or scared or anything than just watching the planes run up along the tarmack. She did not know anything about what planes are “supposed” to do, or how they are “supposed” to act.

She just watched with equal curiosity as they taxied, took off, spun, stalled, landed…

No fear, just curiosity.


My acute fear would have made sense if I, a MAJOR fear of flying/falling/dying/being-out-of-control person, were up in that tiny plane as it spun and climbed and fell.

My fear made no sense, no actual sense, as I stood on the safety of the ground.



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