Shuck and Jive

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Arctic from 33,000 Feet

On a fourteen-hour flight from Istanbul to Los Angeles we flew over the North Pole. The coolest thing on the entire airplane is the Forward/Down camera. It is like a window seat even when you are sitting in 50E smack in the middle. Movies? I can handle maybe one, but watching the Arctic go by is mesmerizing.

I don’t know exactly what the Arctic should look like on my mom’s birthday, November 4th, and it isn’t always easy to distinguish clouds from snow, but to this amateur Arctic-watcher it seems quite broken up in spots, sea where I would want snow and ice.

Things are changing quickly.

What a rare opportunity to see the “top of the world” from 33,000 feet. Only a small percentage of the human population will see this view. Those who lived 100 years before me never saw this view, and I don’t know what those living 100 years after me will see.

I am reminded of the (not so) old Arab proverb:

My grandfather rode on a camel.
My father rode in a Rolls Royce.
I ride in a private jet.
My son will ride on a camel.

Plenty to worry about.
But for right now, I am mesmerized.