Fly with Me


Air travel is wonderful. 

In a culture that demands space and privacy, the security process alone is therapeutic. There you are, standing barefooted and beltless, questioning what is a jacket and what is your shirt. On the queue amongst strangers, we are all in the same state of affairs. We are travelers adrift in search of sanity in safety. There is eye contact, shared experience, and compassion for the one chosen to play a “bad guy” that morning. Vulnerability is a powerful tool in community building. But that’s the adult perspective. For kids, it’s a horse of a different color.

Traveling with children on a plane can be hilarious. Especially if you are not their parent, and seated a few rows back. I have not yet had a plane trip that was not improved by a few rows of kids, swaggering down the aisle their bulging backpacks of snacks and excitement, whacking any unsuspecting passenger foolish enough to not recognize the size of their joy.  Nothing more giddy and gleeful than “kids on vacation.” It is beyond a good mood, it reeks of unlimited access to parents, relaxed rules and excess ice cream.  I could be biased.  I’m fond of travel myself.

The atmosphere is contagious.  Those who are not kids, or active duty parents, should always have the good sense to breathe in this air of anticipation, and enjoy the view.  I think traveling adults behave better in the presence of traveling children. They smile more, complain less or they move much further back. Who could ignore the sticky face cherub that pops over the top of the seat with the “Is this great or what” smile? Suddenly, it IS great; we are flying!  Those are clouds out there and the buildings are tiny. Talk about empowerment for the not so silent minority!

Most kids address their day with a sense of adventure. Give these cosmonauts a ride in the sky and their worldview has just exploded. We may find it cramped and uncomfortable in 16D.  These mini explorers spend all their road trips strapped into tight seats in the back row.  The view is so much better from the sky, and your parents pay more attention.

On a recent trip from Florida to New Mexico we were seated in front of a pint size philosopher with the comedic timing of a Borscht belt comedian. I wrote this down. Nothing ever made up by an adult can top a child’s raw experience. As the plane eased out of the gate at Tampa, preparing for the runway, his voice could be heard over the engines.

“Are we there yet??” We left the runway on laughter, even the sincerely cranky enjoyed that classic.

A few minutes later swooping over Tampa bay at a rakish angle. “Sometimes I get scared Dad. Dad?  Did you hear me? Sometimes I get scared!”  Dad, it turned out was a combat veteran; I’ll bet he understood that very well.

“Dad, you have something up your nose.  What IS that up your nose??  We were in the aisles.

“Where’s our hotel Dad, is that Texas? Calla, Calla we’re in Texas!  Dad everything in Texas is so small!  Where’s our hotel Dad, is it that box?” (Circling Houston)

Diagonally we have a small, but fully cognizant being. Impossibly skinny legs in purple knit leggings sticking out from under a flowered ruffled mini dress shaped like a bell. Two pig tails of different lengths, wrapped in rubber bands, sticking out at revolutionary angles.  It appeared as if she had done her own trim recently. She was succinct and cool. Eye contact, appraisal, approval and back to her iPad.  A few bumps, a few mini rolls, and we are all stapled in for the duration, she took it all in stride. Stock Photo by Sean

The toddler next door began a sleep song as plaintive and intricate as a Robin’s end of day parable.  She repeated the song in its entirety; same tone, same cadence, same vocables, three or four times before she sang herself to sleep. She created her own song and was singing it for herself. Awesome self-soothing, wish I could be as self aware. How much do we really understand about being a child? And why do we rush to make them adults with sad eyes and nervous hands? Maybe some research into the basis of their wisdom might serve better. Maybe we could sit in the back seat more often.


Children and angels are of the same fabric

They’ve forgotten their guile and

 Left their façade at home

Don’t even try to keep them

From standing too close and looking too deep

They can see you anyway.

Maybe the sea is heaven, Maybe heaven is the Sea

What is a beach? What is the sea? Do I reflect her or does she reflect me?


SeaGodsWe went down to the beach early this morning. It is a miracle to have unlimited access to “the beach” in the heat of a Florida summer. Few things feel better than immersion in sun warmed salt water. The Gulf is that; a bowl of gathered water and suspended “stuff” all assimilating into the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. Despite the human need to name and claim, it is not of Mexico, nor of the United States. It is the cupped hands held under the spigot of North America’s rain. Water from the sky holding by force of attraction all the flavors and flotsam of each place and experience on the journey.

The same water that existed on Earth millions of years ago is still here.

But did you know it is all the same water? We are a closed system here on planet Earth, a giant terrarium. Water moves around, as water vapor, liquid water, and ice. Water is a shape shifter, changing its form as conditions dictate. Never lost, only changed.

“Although some matter, such as meteors from outer space, are captured by Earth, very little of the Earth’s substances escape into outer space. This is certainly true about water. Therefore the same water that existed on Earth millions of years ago is still here. The global water cycle dictates that the same water is continually being recycled all around the globe.” there I sat on the nearly uninhabited beach, sun drowsy and half immersed at the edge of the water in a yellow beach chair, communing with the fishes. From a suggestion of an unknown source, I began imagining that I could dissolve into that water, let my molecules float across oceans, and still be conscious. I envisioned drifting without fear through Amphitrite and Poseidon’s domain. And what is the beauty of being dissolved? No concern for fear, or pain, or survival, water always survives. Weightless and worry free; “going with the flow,” in the most literal sense.

I wonder if this is what physical death feels like?

I imagined the behemoth polka-dotted whale shark; the vacuum mouth, filter feeder seen here recently. She swept me up but I passed right through her; no harm done. I wondered about visioning such peace at the time of death, on the anniversary of my birth 59 some years ago. Life is just so tricky.

I think I will call it “Aqua Therapy.” Becoming suspended in the Sea is the perfect solution for the raw chafe of human beings and the pesky nymphs of modern living. Too many electronics? Too many miles? Too many words? Go sink in, soak up the magical medium of life on this planet. Mystical, mercurial changer of shape and form, carrier of life and death, water is the ultimate denominator of life here on the Blue planet. She is the ultimate balancer as well.

Is it an accident of creation or invention that all things electronic can’t survive a simple swim? What does it say about our constant E-companions? TVs, phones, pads and pods are all neutralized by our mother liquid. Yet we are that, a structured cclosedsystemontainer of dissolved minerals. We are that: a very elaborate canteen of fluid and form holding tiny beings, vast communities of differentiated cells, infinitesimal chains holding all human memory.

Maya, Maia, Me

Maybe it was the color of the sky, or the warm gentleness of the water. As the chair sunk into the deep shell sand of the shallows, I contemplated the impermanence of my temporary liquid neighborhood. The tiniest of fish moved rhythmically towards beach, back and forth with the breath of the waves. The edge of water and sand renegotiated with each wave, endless infinite shuffling of inhabitants amidst water, wind or predator.

What came next was a “what if” epiphany. For a moment there was a swirl of illumination. We protect ourselves a lot. We focus without pause on the survival of a body that will not survive… no matter what. We always look up to others and out to belief systems in search of our meaning of life, and our “after life” address. Separating death and life with definite parameters, – like having a human body.

What if heaven is like the sea? What if heaven is the sea? What if we are heaven?

In a Google search for an attractive “Water system” illustration I found this; exploding all facts and theories thus far in place on what water can do, what water can be, where water came from.

Deep Underground, Oceans Of Water May Be Trapped In A Crystal ‘Sponge’


June 15, 2014 3:27 PM ET

Science teachers may have to add a whole new layer to the water cycle. Scientists have discovered evidence of a vast reservoir of water hiding up to 400 miles beneath the surface.

“The discovery could transform our understanding of how the planet was formed, suggesting that Earth’s water may have come from within, rather than from collisions with large, icy comets.”

The water is trapped in a blue mineral called ringwoodite that sits in the mantle, a hot, rocky layer between the Earth’s crust and outer core. That means the water is not the familiar liquid, vapor or ice, but a fourth, mineral form. We reported earlier this year on a rare diamond containing a microscopic piece of ringwoodite that bolstered evidence for the vast wet zone.

It is likely the largest reservoir of water on the planet, and could be the source of the oceans’ liquid. The study was published in the journal Science.

The study is also remarkable for the discovery that melting and movement of rock occurs in a layer of the mantle known as the transition zone, between the upper and lower mantles, the Guardian reports. Most melting was thought to occur at much shallower depths.

“Geological processes on the Earth’s surface, such as earthquakes or erupting volcanoes, are an expression of what is going on inside the Earth, out of our sight,” said Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen from Northwestern University, co-author of the study.

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades,” he said.

The study relied on seismometers across the U.S. and lab experiments simulating rocks under high pressure, says Nature World News.

“Ringwoodite here is key,” it notes. “Its crystal-like structure makes it act like a sponge and draw in hydrogen and trap water.” It could be a vast amount of water, says the Guardian. “If just 1 percent of the weight of mantle rock located in the transition zone was water it would be equivalent to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans, Jacobsen said.”

Nice to meet you ringwoodite.

And where do we go from here?