Whenever Matt and I fly home, I always have the window seat –by virtue of being about 10 inches shorter than him, it’s been determined he could use the extra legroom. I never mind: I love looking out airplane windows. I love seeing the Earth from above, like my own little version of a Google Map Satellite view. I love seeing the land below change shapes and colors, and my favorite thing to do as I fly into Rochester is to pick out the Erie Canal and the Interstate Highway and try to find my house. I never have, although I’ve found my high school, my elementary school and our downtown village plenty of times.
This time flying back from Rochester to Greensboro, we had a connection in La Guardia. The plane we were on was the definition of puddle jumper, and we flew lower than I ever have in my life. I’m not kidding when I say I had my face pressed to the window (okay I am kidding – it’s kind of gross, airplane windows, right?)… but I couldn’t take my eyes off the ground. It was amazing to watch the topography of my home state change: from the suburban sprawl of Rochester, to the easily-picked out Finger Lakes surrounded by farmlands, to the rough bumps of the Catskills and the finally to the condensed urban landscape surrounding New York City.
It was almost a surreal experience, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures out my window as if I could preserve the experience forever. I know it’s cliché, but when I’m looking at the world from above, I can’t help but realize just how big and small the world is, all at the same time. Momentarily, I remember that we’re all in this together.