I always like to see a few planes take off before my own. It’s not that I don’t understand or believe in the possibility of human flight, but something about the seeming impossibility of it makes me appreciate seeing it in action, first hand.
There are no miracles, true enough. But the truth is less likely. The moment of my plane’s aloftness was all planned, predicted, understood and even deliberately strived towards for minutes, hours, decades. Faith builds in witnessing planes speeding up, finding lightness, and lifting the nose, all only after that lumbering and the endless, helpless feeling that we could just very well stay fixed to the runway until we plow into the river. But then the attitude lifts more, the rear wheels come unstuck, and there’s the first upward push followed by the second. The wheels go up and the ground falls away.