“Lessons learned in the air.”

Every day is an opportunity to learn and to grow. A valuable lesson about waiting, while pursuing my dreams, was given to me at no other time, but during a flight from Poland to London.

That morning, I woke up tired and in pain. I had arrived in Poland only two days earlier and as much as I was eager to return to London I was not looking forward to the journey. Airplanes provide an efficient way of getting from point A to point B, which is why I “fly” still, but there are things about flying which I appreciate less…

View Out Plane WindowImagine – you have boarded the plane, which is just about to take off. Announcements and vital final checks made and done; seat belts fastened; lovely stewardesses take you through the emergency routine which you’ve heard a hundred times before. The wait begins and continues once again, until… Lo and behold, the plane is finally ready to do what the plane does best – FLY…

Initially, this powerful machine mightily picks up speed enabling itself to lift off the ground completely defying the law of gravity. Then, in the air, “this big bird” seems to slow down again. That is OK still because at first, you (the passenger) get to see the landscape, waters, buildings, etc. The view is colorful and interesting even if this isn’t your first time flying. Gradually though, the objects become smaller and smaller disappearing out of your sight completely as the plane reaches its ultimate height for this flight. High in the air (for most of the journey) all you get to see is… clouds, clouds, and more clouds…

Due to this unchanging view and smooth “sailing” it actually seems like you’re not moving at all. If eyes and feelings aren’t sufficient to frustrate you, a fellow passenger (as if reading your thoughts) exclaims: “I don’t think we are moving at all!” Your soul cries out internally: “We’re all going nowhere!” 🙂 Your exasperation grows because you’re “grounded” in the air while what you really want to do is to get off the plane and get on with your day…

Eventually, despite your dramatic prediction, the flight does come to an end. The long awaited landing time arrives. You’re grounded, in a good way this time. Except – five, ten, fifteen minutes later, although your seat belt is long gone – the seat belt lights remain on indicating that you should remain seated. As it turns out, another plane is in your landing spot causing the wait to continue. Your mind shouts out silently: “Enough already! Let me out of here!!!” This too comes to pass though. The border control is next…

It comes as no surprise that the queue is loooonger than usual. It’s meandered shape also means that repetitively you get to pass the same different faces differently expressing the same frustrations. In that very moment, you feel like a polyglot able to understand French, Spanish, Arabic and even Chinese – people’s facial expressions and body language “sound” so similar expressing volumes of thoughts, attitudes and opinions. The cumulative anxious energy does not make it easy to wait well. Your patience is tested. Is “she” able to pass this flying test with flying colors???

You need to be patient” is the advice I keep hearing from friends and family lately… Joyce Meyer (charismatic author and speaker) defines patience in the following words: “Patience is not the ability to wait. It is the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Faith is necessary to wait well because once you’ve done your part – there really is nothing else that you can do, but trust and wait… A passenger needs to trust the pilot and the cabin crew to take him to the right place in good time… Though even a passenger needs to know where she’s going; and no journey, no matter how seemingly straight-forward, should be taken for granted. Remember  “The Tortoise and the Hare” story??? (Click Here for Its Short Version) Make sure you’ve got the tickets, documents, and that you board the right plane on time before you decide to catch a nap 🙂

Back to my Polish journey – I used to make it by coach. On the bus, you definitely feel the movement – you are constantly aware that you’re going somewhere. Occasional surface bumps, stops and turns are persistent reminders that you are on the road. If still in doubt, just observe the changing scenery. In addition, the signs and posts with info continually affirm and confirm that you are on the right track getting closer to your final destination. As long as you have a map there is no need to put your trust in the “pilot”. The only major problem is… The journey is loooooooong – it takes approximately twenty-two hours, whereas by plane (including transport to the airport, check-ins and outs, etc.) it takes approx. six.

Each journey, no matter how long or short, has its own waiting times… Appreciate the plane. Remember that some of us have no other choice, but to pursue our dreams by coach, while some others do not have a dream at all. 🙂

While preparing for another expedition, I found the following quote on the Polish Consulate website: “To serve Poland – to build Europe – to understand the world”. I found it inspiring, educating and a reminder that if we reached our destination without prior preparation, our motto would be to serve ourselves – build ourselves – understand ourselves (only)… If some of our dreams came true before their time we would become more selfish… Trust the Pilot of your life to make them come to pass at the right time.

Do not walk out on your dreams though. Imagine a passenger who decides to walk off the plane before the landing (no parachutes available) – it cannot end well 😦

Soar like an eagle! Enjoy the flight… Clouds come in beautiful shapes and shades. 🙂 🙂 🙂



Published by

Monika Ribeiro (writer/poet)

I write because I have to & love to… Writing helps me organize thoughts, understand life & address vital matters in a constructive way. I hope this blog satisfies your intellect & your soul at the same. Be inspired...

2 thoughts on ““Lessons learned in the air.”

  1. Yes patience is a fruit of the Spirit. The ability to have a good attitude indeed! Well I love flying and particularly enjoy long flights! Different strokes for different folks right? But I dont enjoy going through airport checks and all that plus waiting to board but then patience comes in right? Thanks for sharing


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