by Tracey Steele
I Fall In Love each and every day with the Sky Above! I’ve been there, I respect it, it tickles me, it knows my name, it knows my heartbeat. Every time I am within it, I learn something new, understand an ebb, or marvel at the limitless horizons and opportunities.
Fortunately for me, this is a reciprocal love, because as I hold onto the Sky, the Sky embraces me, and guides me within its many dimensions.
- Have I flown through the air with the greatest of ease? Y-E-S!
- Do I understand what it means and feels to fly? Y-E-S!
I've flown with some magnificently skilled pilots, and I’ve handled the controls myself, looping and rolling aircraft through the sky. And I love it! But the Absolute Best Adventure that I have thus ventured on is to wander the wings of an aircraft while my trusted Pilot performs those maneuvers–to spread my arms wide, feeling, maneuvering through air as a bird, effortless, free. I love WingWalking!
It’s the Dynamic of Aerobatics that Heightens WingWalking above the other Sky Adventures I have enjoyed. I’ve done a lot of things some consider risky or at least adventurous. Often I am with an instructor. I just want to experience the thrill and learn what the activity is about, what draws people to it, what makes them love it.
Jumped out of airplane, Skydiving earthward (Tow-Rope and Tandem. I have yet to receive my Solo Certification because I have fallen Head-over-Heels & Aileron-over-Aileron in Passionate Love with WingWalking, thus delaying my eventual Solo Certification.)
* Bungee Jumped into a deep, beautiful river canyon, and also a bodacious quarry.
- * Flown a Hang Glider over the distinguished tapestries of the Midwest.
* Soared in rising air currents in a graceful sailplane.
* Flown Warbird Aerobatics in a T-6 Texan autographing the skies with the calligraphy of maneuvers.
* Flown Jet Aerobatics in a former Soviet L-39 with wonderment while tracing words of Bliss upon the skies.
I've done other things–Indy car rides, whitewater kayaking, et al. But all the adventures that capture my soul involve heights and the specific awareness of propelling though air.
I am not certain of the exact picosecond when my Love of the Skies first nudged my soul, but I know for a fact, that I have never feared the Skies!
Sky Lovers are those that may initially seek the window seats of commercial airlines just to enjoy the sky show from the window to a pristine world. Seeing the world from such a secure vantage point, it becomes more personal and intimate—it invites intuition to not share these moments with an array of passengers, but souly, more soley. I have an inkling that the desire to become a Pilot begins with the hunger for Freedom. To hold the world within your hands. To propel movement with slight movements of the controls. To Journey. Flying the skies, even when not holding the stick, Trusting my Pilot, for me is Pure Freedom! Pure Romance! Pure Joy!!
After WingWalking I do not look at birds with envy, for I know that soon I will be able to careen and maneuver upon my own fixed Wings of a Stearman!
The WingWalking techniques I’ve mastered make ascending, descending and inverting a part of the Grand Plan! There is a Beauty of Passion and Pleasure that results with doing Aerobatics, pulling out of them, soaring for a moment and exacting momentum forward into the next level of Imagination and Aerodynamics!
As I feel for my Points of Contact from Point A, The Cockpit to Point B, The Wings, they become etched upon my fingertips, engraved within the logic of my brain, and are emblazoned within my heart: My Home Sweet Home is Walking Upon the Wings! It makes perfect sense to me!
I Thank the Pioneers of Aviation for Dreaming Greatly & Daring Greatly! I thank the Brilliant Barnstormers who knew there was much more to Daring to Fly than the Cockpit could contain!
The Field of Dreams is:
The Sky + The Field of Invention + The Field of Imagination = Lift, Ride, Glide & Soar.
Wing it with Excitement, Wonderment, Bliss and Serenity!
Published by 20th Century Aviation Magazine.com, July 17, 2013