One of my best kept secrets is that I’m terrified of flying. The mere thought of zooming high above ground chills me to the bone, and until recently, this fear kept me permanently grounded. I’d go on the occasional family or business trip, to be sure, but whenever I had the choice to take flight or keep my feet on solid ground, I inevitably chose the latter.
Then I met my fiance. Like all great loves, my relationship with this courageous and adventurous person opened my eyes to new experiences. Usually, that meant things like karaoke (not bad!) kale (very bad!) and traveling. While I love seeing new places and going on road trips just much as the next guy, I wasn’t exactly jazzed about the prospect of driving from Dallas to Colorado. Since flight was the best option, she had an idea: let’s go to Founders’ Plaza.
“It’ll help,” she said. “You’ll see.”
Her and I grabbed a picnic basket (cheese makes everything better) and settled in to watch dozens and dozens of various flightcrafts come and go one sunny afternoon. We munched on hors d’oeuvres and practiced spelling hors d’oeuvres, we witnessed hundreds and perhaps thousands of Dallas denizens and visitors coming and going in and out of the city we call home. Flying was no longer scary; it was beautiful. Planes reunite us with loved ones. Planes take us new places. Planes help us see new things. On that day, planes helped me see flying in a new light.
Thanks to the wonderful views possible at the plaza — and a certain fiance — my days of fearing flight became a thing of the past. “You’ll see,” she said. And, as always, she was right. But it wasn’t just planes that I saw at Founders’ Plaza. I saw families, husbands, wives and travelers from across the world, touching down or taking off. Maybe some were afraid, like me. But they flew nevertheless, perhaps because they knew, consciously or not, what I realized that day: Flight isn’t a force to be feared; it’s a gift to be embraced.