Wednesday, August 3, 2011
on the plane at 30,000 feet
The speaker cracked and the pilot's voice came on to announce that, after only 20 minutes in the air, we had reached our cruising altitude and were now preparing to descend. We'd made it through the thunder clouds above Boston and were now moving out and in to open sky, I could finally see a landscape below and could make out the intricate waterways of Rhode Island before the plane made a left over the Long Island Sound. I reached into my bag and grabbed my camera, no longer needing to hold the arm rests so tightly now that we had stopped dipping in the turbulent clouds. I pressed my nose against the glass and followed the shoreline of the north fork as we moved above it. Out of the corner of the window I noticed a body of water that started at the Sound and moved east and down toward the middle of the island, the Nissequogue River, and knew we were close. Another minute and we were above my hometown, the peninsula of Eaton's Neck wrapping into the sound and protecting the harbor, the spit of land that is Hobart Beach reaching out across the Bay toward Caumsett. For a brief minute I was able to trace the outline of Northport with my finger on the window and then the plane shifted and turned again towards the south shore and JFK.