Tuesday, 23 October 2007
The magic of Flying
"For once man has tasted flight he will forever walk the earth
with eyes turned skywards.
For there he has been and there he longs to return."
Leonardo Da Vinci
A few days ago we were driving along the sea front, looking at the other dogs on the beach and the considerable surf (rare on this south coast of Cornwall) when suddenly I said – ‘Look!’
There in front of us was a huge balloon that turned out to be a paraglider. It rose up against the cliffs, then drifted out to sea and along the beach before rising up again.
What I hadn’t realised was that the large wing or balloon is controlled by a person sitting in a harness, using myriad of rainbow coloured threads, like a magical spider’s web. The paraglider monitored the strings with his hands, thereby moving himself up and down, to the side or out over the water, and twisted his whole body from side to side as he did so, like a motorcyclist going round a bend.
Watching him manoeuvre was awe inspiring. We stood and watched his skill and dexterity in silence as he careered near the cliff, then bounced off at the last moment.
Himself finally tore himself away and said, “that’s got to be the best thing ever. A mix between sailing and flying. If I was younger, I’d have a go.”
Thankfully (for my nerves), he’s too old. But he can still fly in his head, and his heart. And he does.