Saturday, May 17, 2014
Written on the wind
It took me back, back to a September morning, back to Kansas and a job I hated with people I knew and loved. Back to a day when there were no contrails in the sky...
I went outside on break at some point. An unrelenting blue sky day, with more than a hint of fall in the air. The sky was empty. You never realize how commonplace those simple lines in the sky are, until they are gone. I remember how empty it looked. And then I heard it, high overhead, a lone large jet, bound due north. Odd, I recall thinking. There's nothing up that way--that's not the normal flight path for anything... It wasn't private, nor commercial. Not military either... yet it was the only thing in the sky save for the ever present turkey vultures of the Great Plains. Its mark of passage written on the wind, fading all too soon.
Later that day I understood. SAC Offutt was due north, its destination--not Why-Not-Minot... I don't know why those contrails crisscrossing this morning's Texas sky brought that moment all back to me. I remember so much of that day in odd little details--perhaps because back then, there was no internet at work, no working tv in the break room...only chaos on the radio, and empty skies above.