Less than 48 hours before making the all-day drive to New Orleans for a conference last September, a sinus infection made me rethink my travel plans. With a stuffy head and a stuffy nose, the last place I wanted to be was behind the wheel. So, I hit up Travelocity and actually found an airline ticket that I could pay for with the mileage check the city had already cut me. I booked it on the spot.
Through what turned out to be a technological glitch, the Web site showed a very small plane on the return trip from New Orleans to Houston. Had the plane really been a puddle-jumper, my seat selection of 2A would have been just another ordinary window view. However, the plane turned out to be a 737 and my place in seat 2A was in first class.
A late night in the French Quarter turned into an early morning and I only caught three or four hours of sleep before heading to the airport. Had this been a regular flight, I would have most certainly been unconscious before the plane made it to the runway. As it was, I found myself in the land of wide-bodied leather seats with complimentary drinks in real glasses. I wasn't going to miss out on the good life for anything.
As we flew south and then made our way west along the Gulf coast towards Texas, I rarely took my head out of the window. I've long since had a love affair with south Louisiana and it was pretty cool to see that part of the state from the air. Everything seemed to come together for that flight. The view was perfect. The weather was perfect. The first class ticket was perfect. The tunes in my ear -- Cowboy Mouth's newest album, Fearless -- turned out to be perfect, too.
"Whatcha gonna do with the restlessness inside your worried mind?
How you think you're ever gonna get ahead when you feel so far behind?
Step inside this endless moment for a subtle touch of grace
I've always found my strength inside the act of faith"
My life had been anything but perfect in the weeks leading up to my trip. I felt plagued with by a variety of issues -- some that I would go on to write about here and others I kept to myself. New Orleans did it's part, however, and reality took a vacation. For four or five days in September, it felt as though anything could happen at any time. I was reminded how absolutely great it feels to be alive. That feeling sort of showcased itself at 30,000 feet and for a brief moment, I decided that anything was possible, that nothing was set in stone and that those were good things.