At 1000-2000 feet above ground, on a day so clear it makes you squint, the world looks by turns stunning, by turns menacing, by turns tenuous beyond words. Here and there, masses of land come into focus, outcast islands. One of them has a solitary lighthouse and one house on it.
It is a beautiful day for this kind of passage, from land to sky–cold and sunny but most of all windy enough to sustain us, to keep us buoyant and light. From up here, the ocean’s edge is a lace of white which stretches all the way to Plum Island where we make a brief stop and then take off again for Hampton, New Hamsphire, for some food and rest at the Airfield Café.
On the return, there is more turbulence, and the wind is stronger. But Pilot Mark is nothing if not a skilled navigator–disciplined and focused. We breeze through it, hovering as it were over the ocean for a long, long time. Only a metal barrier separates us from the waters below, the click of the airplane’s door. But the wind is also our intimate, our guide. The wind which shepherds us back to earth, to the Beverly Municipal Airport.