In my pre-school years, my Daddy was into flying. He had to fly quite a few hours to keep up his pilot’s license and I spent many a weekend flying around the skies with him. The inside of his little plane was similar to a car, two front seats, and a bench style back seat. Dad would buckle me in the back seat with my coloring book, crayons and a cheese sandwich.
I’m sure the first few times he took me up I spent most of the time glued to the window. I have always enjoyed looking down at earth from a plane. The towns below looked fake, like an enormous train set landscape kept in God’s basement. I was quite an accomplished flyer even by the tender age of four. I had flights to Europe and back under my belt. My first flight was only at a few months old, so travel by plane was a normal part of life. I don’t remember being particularly excited about flying around with my Daddy. I think I was just happy to spend time with him. I was content to sit in that back seat and color away.
It never occurred to me to be fearful. I was somewhat a cautious child and I definitely had fears, but with my Daddy, the knight who could slay any fears, I felt perfectly safe. I think today, while I still have no fear of flying, in the flying itself, I am afraid of small planes. They crash more, give me an Air France airbus anytime. I suppose if I let my mind go there, I am afraid of terrorists taking down the plane I’m on, but I would never let that fear stop me from traveling.
For most of us, the blissful ignorance of childhood does keep us fearless. It made me wonder when it changes. For me, I think it was when I began to learn about and understand things like wars and stranger danger. It was hard to digest that some people in the world harbored ill-will towards others. For some when they become fear-aware it paralyzes them from doing things in life they really want to do, like travel.
That leads to another phase of growing up, becoming brave. You are brave every time you do something outside your comfort zone or despite your fears. Fear can be healthy, but it should never be debilitating. There were many times in my late childhood well into my thirties I was brave in the face of fears, real or imagined.
Now I think I have come back to being closer to fearless than brave. It has happened gradually in my forties. I still have fears and I still try to be brave in the face of them however I am so comfortable in my own skin, much like when I was little. I do still have my Daddy in my life (Very blessed), but it is myself that acts as the knight and protector in most instances. I can be fearless again. I have accumulated life experience and pushed past fear enough to know the probability of landing safely, no matter how turbulent the skies get is high.
Don’t let fear keep you from soaring. Happy flying my friends!