Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sunset Above the Clouds - Timing is Everything

My flight to Amarillo was delayed about 30 minutes. I had no reason to be upset about it, so I wasn’t. As it turned out, this delay aligned the planets in such a way as to give us the opportunity to see the ‘world between the clouds’ as the plane approached its final destination. I spent most of the flight with my nose in a book reading but was startled out of my lethargy by sun-glint in my eyes. I looked out and there was the classic ‘sea of clouds’. I already have a special attachment to this view of the world. From my many flights (both airplane and helicopter) I have come to view clouds as being less ethereal than most would describe them. By that, I mean that clouds have more substance and solidity than the stuff of cotton. Think about it – when your airplane hits turbulence, it is often associated with clouds. Sometimes when your plane enters a bank of clouds, it lurches about as if it were being yanked around by a giant's arm.

The sun was low in the sky but still above the sea of clouds. But what was different this time was that the sunset was also casting pink light below the clouds. I could not believe my eyes – the view out my window was orgasmically sensuous. It looked as if there was a vast uneven floor of white clouds interspersed with below-ground caverns filled with the pink fires of some other world. I opened up and focused in order to fully experience what I was seeing and commit it to memory at the same time. It was so sensuous that I stole a glance around the plane to see if the other passengers were watching as well or seeing the flush on my face. To my complete amazement, not one other person was watching the majestic show that mother-nature was putting on for our benefit.

As quickly as the color drew my attention, the temperature in the cabin dropped as the sun set and the clouds became all white and then gray. The captain announced our descent into Amarillo and the evening display was just a memory.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger George said...

All I can say is.......planes scare the heck out of me. I've been on one once and maybe because we had *very* bad turbulence-it's not something I plan to repeat unless I have too. Keep those pictures coming though-they are awesome!

Would you mind if I put the one with the clouds on my Flickr? It's really purty. My mom checks my blog and my flickr out and she enjoys looking at neat pictures.

PS-She hates airplane rides also.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger Ptelea said...


I guess you don't want to hear all of my plane horror stories? Actually I don't have that many!

uh oh - I may have committed a blog faux pas (I think that is how you spell it) Of all of the photos on my blog, two are not mine - the ladies with the snowshoes (I'm old but not that old) and this one of the sunset over the clouds. I did a Google Image search to find it. I am in the process of contacting the photographer (I found her website but the email address listed is outdated, so I have to send her a letter because she has a current physical address) Do you know the proper way to handle this kind of situation, George? I wasn't really thinking - but I don't mean to take credit for someone else's photos. All of the others are mine and you are welcome to them (are you sure you don't want the cactus photo???)

The actual link to the sunset photo is


Post a Comment

<< Home