Saturday, August 08, 2009

To the edge of space

James May of Top Gear rode to 70,000 feet above the earth in a U2 plane.

This would have been a life-changing experience for me, too -- the black above, the curve of the earth below, all one planet.

On my first airplane trip, a 24-hour flight to Australia, back when it took that long and required one or two refueling stops, I awoke at one point to sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. The colors broke into a spectrum, a horizontal rainbow on the horizon between some towering clouds in the distance, and I nearly cried.

This was something my great-grandmother could never have had.

I wonder what the children coming after us will see.