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Above the Atlantic Ocean beneath me,
above the world that appeared in every direction
consisted of white fluffy clouds
and a beautiful light-blue sea-
above me, below me,
as I looked out the window from my airplane seat,
I looked, my mind drifted to the horizon,
and I felt something come over me:
I felt unburdened, I felt anticipation, I felt free.

Everyone around me just sat in their seat,
reading, listening to music,
watching a film on the screen in front of them,
escaping in their own way,
and passing the time to their destination,
to our shared destination-
I just looked away from the beautiful sight outside the window
for a few minutes and simply looked up
and around me at my fellow passengers,
and I have to admit I was amused by everyone I saw
with fascination.

I was drawn to a smile by all the faces that looked back at me;
I was drawn to wonder who it was that I was sitting behind,
in front of, to the side of, and around;
I was drawn to listen to what was being said
and in what language that orignated in what country;
I was drawn to feel a shared experience, a mutual thought,
a genesis of unclouded memory,
thirty-five thousand feet off the ground.

The vast cotton-like expanse of the white clouds below
reminds me and somehow makes me think of a far-away land
completely covered in snow.

Before we all know it our time together on the plane
flashed before our eyes like a sudden burst of bright
beautiful light from the small windows,
and our 6 hour, 3000 mile journey came to an end
the moment we descended from the clouds
and landed at Newark Liberty International in New Jersey.
When it came time to disembark,
I must admit I sat there for a while longer in my seat,
watching everyone else get their belongings together,
before I too got up myself
and took everything that I had brought with me
and everything that I will take with me-
all that I saw, heard, and felt on my flight across the ocean,
from my seat, Seat 32C.

A gust of wind blew through the trees,
as I stood in my favourite forest
and watched a single leaf break-away from its branch,
and begin to fall to Earth.
As this lone leaf descended above me,
right in front of me, time appeared to freeze.
This leaf, for some reason, was now defying gravity itself-
its fall had somehow become interrupted-
it was now floating and turning in the air right in front of me,
as if I were witnessing a token of nature and the world’s unlimited wealth.
The rest of the world was a blur to me;
the leaf, however, I could see with impeccable clarity.
Everything felt like a dream, but this wasn’t a fantasy-
this was like another state of reality.
There wasn’t a sound to be heard,
and yet I thought that I could feel noise all around-
something that was keeping me on my feet,
but denying the leaf from finding the ground.
It was as if I was watching a magic trick,
but I knew that it wasn’t an illusion
orchestrated by a magician, nor a hallucination-
what I was experiencing was, I can only describe as being,
like a moment of regeneration-
and this leaf had chosen to sacrifice itself
so that this necessary change could take place;
this leaf was all life on Earth,
this leaf was the changing face of every Earth-born race.
The air was cold, but I felt like a warm flame-flickering lantern;
the trees were still, but the golden leaf continued to turn.

And then, the rest of the world came back into focus.
Another gust of wind blew through the forest,
the branches of the behemoths all around me swayed from side-to-side,
all the leaves from all the trees suddenly fell to Earth as-one-
as if the entire forest had cried.
Every golden leaf that had once been green
and had coloured these woods every shade of life imaginable
now spiralled down through the air to the floor- around me, on me;
however, there was one exception:
the leaf that had fallen first was the last to touch the Earth
that lay in waiting-
it fell, but it fell in its own time, at its own pace-
saying a long goodbye to an existence that it was forsaking.
I was tempted to put out my hand to stop the leaf from completing its journey,
but then I berated myself for such a thought
and I continued to watch the leaf spin for the last time,
and then settle on top of all the other leaves on the ground
that moments ago were high above me.

I looked down at the leaf, until I could no longer discern which leaf had fallen,
froze time, and fascinated me so intently;
and then I looked up again at the trees and branches
that were now bare and free of foliage,
and my mind and thoughts felt flooded, but clear,
and teaming with energy and peace-
like the water of the Great Barrier Reef.
My focus was now clear,
my foundations of life were now cemented.
I believe that I witnessed the beginning, the end,
and the beginning of another universe
that began in the time that it took
to watch the slow flight of a falling leaf.

'The Falling Leaf'

From the ground the sky looks limitless;
from the sky, through the clouds, to the fields,
to the roads, to the people and the communities that I see-
everything and everyone looks like one, feels like one,
like the most resplendent and serene beauty.

Taking off into the vast blue and white
feels like ascending into another dimension of dark blue
between darkness and light-
the feeling in your stomach feels amazing, and unlike anything else-
your mind feels open with awe, like you have never felt.

Flying above the world below feels so natural,
as if we were all meant to always be among the clouds-
up here you feel so free of troubles, worries,
the future, the present, the past;
being up here never fails to astound.

Flying above the bright blue sea-
the wonder of what I am doing, what we are all doing,
every minute of every day overcomes me-
I feel more than I am, I feel more than I was,
I feel as I imagine an astronaut does
orbiting through space above the Earth-
like a baby in a mothers womb before birth.

Returning to land,
setting foot on the soft warm sand,
I feel like I have returned from a magical dream,
from somewhere, and to somewhere, I have never been-
changed, but still the same:
one of the magical gifts that you receive from flying on a plane.

You feel like you are a child all over again:
experiencing the thrill of take-off, flight, freedom-
like seeing a painting expand beyond the borders of a frame.

When we fly, by any means, we become like a bird in our mind,
in which all the destinations that we travel to
are like the branches of a tree,
and the more places that we go,
the more that we want to fly to truly be.

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