Zoe Barnes - Brazil
September 5, 2015
I was in that weird mindset between subconsciousness and reality, where dreams are slipping farther and farther away despite desperate efforts to hold on. I presume I would’ve succeeded if it hadn’t been for the rough patch of turbulence to jolt me into full consciousness. The cabin was dark, and it seemed that most passengers nearby were asleep. I glanced ahead at the flight monitor and was disappointed to find it was just 12:30. 6 more hours. I was about to close my eyes and attempt to fall back asleep when I saw it. Nothing in particular, just unobstructed darkness at 31,000 feet. Darkness below, all the way to the surface of the Atlantic, with the sporadic light of a boat here and there. Darkness above, uninterrupted by clouds and spotted with the occasional star. Never before had I experienced such clarity 6 miles high, and before I could fully wrap my mind around the beauty of it all, the rigid edges of the Dominican Republic and Haiti emerged into view. The yellow lights of the island sat against the jet black scene like yellow paint splattered across a black wall. Averting my attention to the horizon, I watched a thunderstorm light the distant sky. Flash after flash it loomed; threatening, exhilarating. It was then that the brightly lit Dominican Republic and Haiti met the Atlantic once more. Another flash, and the clarity weakened. Below my window, clouds swarmed until all I’d seen before was obstructed by grey. But above, I could still see stars. Crystal clear. I was reminded of the journey on which I’m embarking. Leaving a life that’s been laid out in front of me; leaving the known and entering the unknown, the unexpected, the unordinary. The cloudy. Similar to the thunderstorm in the distance, it’s a risk, but it’s exhilarating. The clouds below prevent me from knowing exactly what’s ahead and what the future will bring, but the stars above show that I’m on the right path. And even if it’s not the path that most take, I’m going in the right direction.