High Flight

By Janet Walgren
I think that some people lead pretty boring lives. I mean it; it’s like the pendulum in their clock tower is barely moving. Hello! Is anyone home? My life isn’t like that, not in the least. I think that the pendulum in my clock tower has knocked out all the walls… and I’m grateful for the summer breeze. 

Yesterday I took some of my grandchildren for a walk while their parents were packing a moving truck. Yes they are leaving Salt Lake City but they are not leaving me. Indeed they can not for I hold them in my heart and soul, and there they will remain forever. Sure I will miss their laughter, their gentle touch, their funny little stories, but I have my memories and I know that new memories are just a short train ride away. And now, today my youngest daughter is packing her suitcases also. She’s leaving for England for an internship – a dream delivered on faith and prayers. Right now she is sitting at her computer humming music as she is inserting photos to make a movie documenting her journey. I will miss her company terribly. But the music of her voice whether singing a song, humming a melody, or telling me a story about a book, a class, a tender feeling, or a funny antidote will drift softly through my dreams as time marches on and I watch her soar. 

A few days ago I was surfing through my photo files for Heather so that she could document this part of her journey and I found a photo of me that was taken right after I had successfully completed my private pilot’s examination. I had framed it with a copy of High Flight written by pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr. shortly before he died in war:

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on Laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand and touched the face of God.


I scanned in the old photo and then, for the first time ever, I saw the photo close up and personal. I saw the expression on my face as I passed that awesome milestone on my own journey through life. The photo told my story…a story of triumph and laughter as I soared. Now my dear children, it is your time, your turn to soar. – Fly high, stay true to the course, but make your own memories and soar. May God bless your journey.  Click here to see Janet’s photos.


I love you!



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