Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Water Vapor Part 1

Despite the fact that I. Am. Not. a morning person, I am up and out of the house at about 6:30am every school day. The child starts school at 6:55am. It was dark at that time but now with the time change, it is light. It is getting LESS light.... Sometimes I drop her off and the swing by the grocery store for coffee or breakfast items or lunch items. When it was dark at drop off at school, it would be getting light when I came out of the grocery store.

That's when I first noticed them. Driving back home is driving East. Towards the rising sun that has yet to break the horizon of the Sierras.


Sometimes only a couple. More often, half a dozen or more. Little white streaks in the sky. Most of them coming from points West, both North and South, heading towards points East. High in the sky so they can clear the 8000 feet (more or less) that the Sierras rise into their airspace. Sometimes there would be a contrail heading West. Bigger than those going East. Distinctly pointed towards San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Stand and watch the sky and suddenly a new one will appear. As the sun rises and catches the water vapor that forms these contrails they appear as if by magic. Others are suddenly gone. They all look like shooting stars or perhaps an invading alien force.

I always think of the hundreds of people those contrails represent. Airline pilots and flight crews that are awake and working as I am seeking caffeine and feeling lucky I got a sweatshirt on my top and sweatpants on my bottom and not the reverse. I think of the people who are heading East for work and left their families this day before they were awake. The people heading off for vacation. Perhaps to Europe or other points beyond our borders and these early morning contrails represent the first leg of a long day of travel.

I can't help myself. As it is my habit whenever I see an airplane in the sky.... I wish them Godspeed and safe passage.

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