I took a plane down south. Of course, I had many times before, but this time was different. In times past, I had been a rolling stone of a child whose mind was shifted and clouded by dreams, fantasies, wonders, questions and zeal for the moments. I lacked or perhaps ignored the cognitive ability to see what was going on before me whilst caught up in the fascination of my own mind. On this trip, though, I was on the way to coming into my own. I had attained some level of consciousness, although, it could be argued I was less conscious in the sense that I was more acutely aware of that which is deemed irrelevant by the backbone, heart and brain of nature, of existence, and especially, of God.
I was sitting next to one of my only friends, at that age. I didn’t have the window seat. I don’t know this to be a fact, but I know who I was back then, and even though I really wanted the window seat, I would’ve eagerly given it up to please a friend. At age thirteen, I would’ve sold blood to attain the assurance of a lasting friendship. I hadn’t learned, yet, that you can’t buy loyalty. That’s not to imply that this friend wasn’t loyal, for she surely was, for as long as she could be.
If I was nervous at all during that plane ride, I don’t remember it. As far as I know, I’ve never been nervous on a plane before, yet for some reason, I imagine I would be, now. I guess you could say this particular plane ride was the last peaceful air transit I’ll probably ever have. I was young enough to know of 9/11, but not have its effects really get under my skin and touch my heart as it does now. I was at the age where we made terrorist jokes and wondered at why anyone would want to hurt Americans – So naive. I wish I had spent less time, distracting myself with movies, books and hand held video games during that plane ride and more time engaging those around me. Not that I’d have anything of substance to say, but, surely, there would’ve been something of substance to hear, to remember, to learn from. That’s what I regret most about my youth and my teenage years, even now; I wish I had paid more attention to what life could teach me. I made mistakes, I saw what went wrong, what caused it all, and never really consecrated those things in my mind or heart.
I know a lot of time has passed since I boarded that plane to Florida, but in a lot of ways, I still feel like the same person, and therein, I believe, lies the only legitimate reason for sorrow. Wisdom is the application of life’s accumulated, practical knowledge, and a fool has no value… in this life or the next.