Just down the shore apiece is anchored a small, yellow seaplane. Hidden from sight by the trees that border the water’s edge, it sits quietly waiting for my neighbor to bring it to life.
Whenever I’m out and about the yard and hear its engine, I stop to scan the shoreline or sky to catch a glimpse of it either taking off or landing across the blue surface of Lake Champlain.
The sound and sight of that little plane excites my imagination, and fuels my long-held dream of being at the controls of such a craft. And it never fails to bring-to-mind the poem, “High Flight.”
“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of –
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
And flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
“Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wing-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.”
– John Gillespie Magee, Jr. 1941*
But more, it stirs my soul and ignites a longing to be freed of the bonds that restrain my spirit. Each new day I, too, quietly await the touch of the Spirit that brings me to Life!
Perhaps you, too, await the Spirit’s touch that brings your spirit to Life.
Today’s Nugget: Spirit touches spirit and ignites new Life.
*A sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.
He was born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionary parents, Reverend and Mrs. John Gillespie Magee; his father was an American and his mother was originally a British citizen.
He came to the U.S. in 1939 and earned a scholarship to Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and was graduated as a pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941.
In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941, his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death.
His remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire.