"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
and danced the skies on silvered wings
and done a hundred things I'd never dreamed
then reached out and touched the hand of God."
How many times did I listen to his poem "High Flight" as our old black and white TV signed off at 10:30 at night? My father would have been in bed reading True Detective Magazines; mother would have been puttering around the kitchen; my little sister in bed sleeping or spying; while I closed my books on homework when the TV signed off. Sometimes I stood and saluted that pilot as he roared through the skies. I felt connected to the loss of human life during the wars, and wondered when we would go to war again and use our "bomb shelter", buried only a few feet from our den, to survive an atomic attack from Russia. Fear was never far from our hearts in those days of the Cold War. I needed to know that I could touch the hand of God.
All of those memories came rushing back when my eyes
imagined touching the hand of God on this flight. How many times in my life have I reached out for his hand, and it's Always been there for me.
I thought it best to reread the this poem that I've carried in my heart, for heaven knows a teacher wouldn't want to write something incorrectly! My apologies to John Gillespie Magee, Jr for learning his beautiful poem incorrectly, but somehow I think he'd understand. He truly must have seen the face of God, not his hand as I did, when he wrote, "put out my hand and touched the face of God."
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."
He has truly risen.