Enchantment and excitement reign as I lean over to see Earth has become a toy land below with its lush emerald pastures, delicately placed fences and fairy tale cottages. I’m gliding in the air, so high, with half of me one with the elements. There is no window to lock me in, no cabin to contain me. I’m flying. I close my eyes and realise its real. The dream unfolds in reality and its real. I’m flying.
I hadn’t grown wings. I was on a microlight, an incredibly “fragile-looking” aircraft with seating for two. There are essentially two types of microlight aircraft – the fixed wing and the flexi-wing. The former has a closed cockpit and more or less looks like a conventional aircraft albeit a lot smaller! The latter, on the other hand, has a wing that looks similar to a hang-glider, with the seats and engine suspended below and an open cockpit. Of course, I chose to fly on the flexi-wing and experience the exhilarating thrill of flying in an open cockpit!
As I first walked towards the aircraft, it’s “fragility” hit me and I wondered whether it was safe. I wondered how such a “fragile” aircraft could actually fly and stay up?! I cannot remember how many times I thought about turning back and going home. I was torn between staying on firm ground “where it was safe” and the thrill of flying and conquering my fear. Of course, the latter won… or maybe I rationalised that it really could not be that “fragile” since no one else was falling out of the sky!
Just prior to and during take-off I felt very vulnerable. I prayed. I held my breath. And yet I was also brimming with excitement. Just a few seconds later I looked down and around in complete astonishment. It was absolutely incredible. It was surreal. I was high above the Earth, I could feel the air and I could look down and around, all without any barriers. I was flying.
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