Remember when we were young and airplanes were a fantasy ride? We idolized the pilots that manned our ship in the sky and when the flight attendants handed us our plastic wings, we felt like one of the crew.
Remember when you could walk into the cockpit and meet the pilot? The perfectly-dressed flight attendant would take your hand and lead you into the unknown- the little room where the pilot and co-pilot sat and watched the world from their front-row seats. And for one brief moment, you were allowed to witness the same view.
I remember that age of airline innocence, and longed for it when Aer Lingus Flight 132 took me above the clouds and over Iceland, where the horizon dropped and the moon, sun and stars showed existed in the same window pane.
I caught a glimpse of the scenery from my seat 8C. A little look to the left and I was captivated by the colorful blends of pink, orange and blue that lit up the sky. I took out my camera and started shooting the scene, excited about watching the sun go down over the edge of the earth. But what I didn’t realize what that darkness had already set: on the right side of the plane, night had already fallen.
The mind-trip at 39,000-feet was unexplainable. On the left, the sun, the moon and the stars lined up along the horizon. On the right, complete darkness. The aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) was in full mystical mode and it was putting on a show for flight 132.
I wondered what the view looked like from the pilot’s seat.