Do you remember the first time you saw the world from above?
I remember sitting glued to the window (lucky enough to have arrived early and been given a window seat) and watching South Africa unfold below me. The greeny/browns of the Transvaal and Free State were sort of what I had expected. The crop circles still remain one of my favourite sights. I know the explanation is so simple, but to me they are always ‘magic’ in how accurate a circle they are.
But the Karoo from above entranced me. Where I could see the levels of mountain and hill, the lines of different earth and rock. Each slightly different in colour; and all some sort of brown. How many browns there are. I could just see the hand of a creator making this landscape.
Then finally coming out over the Ceres area, to see those miraculous green valleys. It made me wonder what sort of people could trek to that heaven, and then leave it to face the interior that looked so forbidding.
That was the day I really fell in love with my country.
Since then I have seen many beautiful and interesting sights of the world from above, but none with quite the awestruck love of that very first time. I have always wanted to fly into space, and look back at the earth ‘below’ and know that I will fall in love with the whole planet, just as I did with my country, that first time.
Tonight I will fly the same route. But at night the only real interest is the whole Witwatersrand lights twinkling on for ages, and then the Cape Town lights. I know when we are over the Karoo I’ll wish them rain for their desperate situation. I wonder if I can pull our rainclouds behind the plane and then just drop them over Beaufort West to give them some relief.