For aeons man has dreamed of flying. The primal instinct to soar aloft is driven by the most ancient of genetics; elementary base code pairs shaping our thoughts, our desires as we look skyward. What a thrill it must be to soar on eagle’s wings, to drift among the clouds, to escape the bonds of earth and explore the third dimension.
Flying as freely as the angels is truly the stuff of myth and legend. To fashion wings and rise toward the sun has captured our imagination for centuries. Daedalus experienced the wonder of flight, even as that ill-fated journey tinged his awe with sadness. He saw for the briefest of moments the province of the Gods.
Flights of fancy have of course been replaced by flights of physics; modern day marvels born of aluminum and wires that have squeezed our tiny planet into the smallest of marbles. The roar of the jet engine pushes the beautiful machines into the sky ever higher, ever faster. One might be forgiven for thinking that the occupants would strain their eyes outwards towards the heavens, eager to touch the edge of creation but instead their journey has been sanitized and normalized so that instead they look inwards, drinking cheap wine and watching banal images on tiny viewports. The wonder of their environment is simply lost to them.
To be as free as a bird is to be at one with the environment. Birds soar on the merest of air currents, their hollow-boned wings beating to turn their direction as hidden convection swoops them upwards. For birds, gliding on outstretched arms as they cross the sky, they feel the universe around them and they are at ease with its vastness, its emptiness, its freedom – they are unconstrained through flight.
It is not coincidence that Heaven is above us. To look up and feel the majesty of nature and to imagine being one and the same is as close to nirvana as our earthbound selves can hope to achieve.