Aerial views.

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

It’s mid-July and I’m on an 8:00 AM flight from Seattle to Tucson. The skies are low and grey over Seattle, but just a few minutes out of the city, the clouds open up to reveal the lush blues and greens of the landscape below.

The pilot announces over the intercom that we’ll soon have a fantastic view of Mt. Rainier. He doesn’t say which side of the plane the mountain will be on, but I get my camera ready in any case. I’ve seen the snow-capped Mt. Rainier on other flights to and from Seattle, and it’s a breathtaking sight.

As it turns out, Rainier is on the left side of the plane, and I’m on the right. What’s worse, the man sitting next to the window on the left is reading the paper with his window shade down. The shade on the window in front of him is up, however, so I can see when we approach the edge of Mt. Rainier.

The flight attendant moves down the aisle saying, “We’re passing Mt. Rainier and it’s beautiful—look out your windows, it’s right outside.” She tries to get the attention of the man reading the paper. “Sir, would you like to see Mt. Rainier? Raise your window shade and take a look, it’s gorgeous.”

He gives her a bemused look and then, clearly just humoring her, pushes up his window shade, takes a cursory glance at the majestic peak passing nearby, and then buries his head in his Wall Street Journal once more.

And I think, “Dude, even if you take this flight three times a week, even if you’ve seen this landscape more times than you can count, how utterly jaded do you have to be to fail to be moved at the sight of the tremendous, frosty Mt. Rainier, close enough to touch, glittering so perfectly in the morning sun?”

The beauty of the world is just lost on some people.

Comments

1

I took the tube (London Underground) just three stops back and forth every day for five years at school. I still looked out of the window at the scenery most of the time, and found something new to appreciate on an almost weekly basis.

And that’s just grotty South London. That man doesn’t deserve a window seat. He should be in back, next to the toilets.

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