From a distance by Estela Caballero

In memory of the 150 souls on flight 9525

I boarded a flight early last week.  I saw the curve of the Earth and I wished the moment could have been shared with my children and husband.  This was a business trip and the first time I would be away from my family for so long– ever.  Two weeks flies by in familiar territory.  I was definitely not in familiar territory.  I crossed more than time zones on the flight from Washington state to Arkansas– the Natural State.  I knew the camera on my phone would produce a decent picture of a moving and powerful view. The fuzzy image would have to do– I’d do my best to try to describe what cannot be described when I recounted it to my family.

Getting to Arkansas from a tiny airport is an all day trek.  Over the next few days and weeks, the story of another person who had witnessed similar sights to my own was inescapable.  As I prepared for my trip that morning, they did as well. They tiptoed into their children’s bedrooms to do what parents do when they catch an early flight.  A caress of the head with kisses and promises that they will be back before you know it. I imagine that more than a few on that flight had their stomachs in knots, just like me during the take off.  Even among strangers, there are kind souls and faces that seem so familiar they can put one at ease during the uncertainty of parting from the ground as the plane climbs higher and higher.  I kept my eyes on the back of the head of a tiny girl travelling with her parents.  She had sticky hands from a lollipop the stewardess offered her after asking if she was excited about the flight.  Take off.  Fear gives way to wonder and the perspective of flying above things you usually see from a whole different spot on the planet makes most forget about their phones for at least a few minutes.  At that point, they are really of no use unless you have music on there since the small plane was lacking in free pretzels and Wi Fi.  Flight did not come naturally to man.  The curiosity that gave us wings does. Cars begin to look like ants and I remember the first time I looked out the window and thought this must be what people mean when they say things like, “…bigger picture.”

Flight 9525 carried 150 souls.  None of them made it home last week.  We all know one parting will be the final one but no matter the years we are lucky enough to live, they never seem to be enough.  No matter how sweet and loving a conversation, how many would say they are fine with it being the last time with that person?  You are here today.  Make it count.  Please ❤

Here are the window shots.
I love this song by Bette Midler and as the news in the coming days jumped between peace talks down to the wire, laws met with public outcry and the heartbreaking new information on Flight 9525, I could not escape the words.


From a distance

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace,
it’s the voice of every man.

From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.

From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They’re the songs of every man.
God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.


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