I knocked a couple of items off the official bucket list on Thursday.
“This must be what it feels like to be a kite,” Rissa said as we lifted off the back of the boat. It seemed like something unreal.
I like being up high. I’ve liked it since I was five years old and faceplanted a sidewalk because I wanted to know what the ground looked like coming toward me from the top of the monkey bars. You’d think I would have learned my lesson then, but–no. I got my first spanking after exploring the roof of our two-story house a few weeks later.
When I was in Europe, my friends and I tried to get to the highest point everywhere. The cupola of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral in Milan. The London Eye. The top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Later, it was Mount Rainier in Washington state. An open airplane door at 1,400 feet above Atlanta.
Seven days ago, Felix Baumgardner stepped out of a capsule hanging from a weather balloon at 128,000 feet. He broke the sound barrier with his body. A couple hundred years ago, experts said that the human body couldn’t withstand the 30+ mph speeds that the steam engine would take it. The human system, they thought, would die from shock at such high speeds.
Our predecessors were as wrong about speed as their ancestors had been about the efficacy of blood-letting as a medical procedure.
I wonder what our generation is wrong about? I don’t care enough to try to guess. But… I wouldn’t mind being the second person in history to jump from 23 miles above the surface of the earth. Who wants to go with me?