I Want To Fly (Mig Langar Að Fljúga)

Paragliding over Meðalfellsvatn

Paragliding over Meðalfellsvatn

I need to start making life happen again. I can feel that inevitable slip into being passive, letting life happen to me, rather than making the things I want to have in my life happen for me. I would benefit from a personal review, taking note of the things I want to have in my life right now. This situation has probably occurred because there has been so much going on in the past eight weeks. It gets to be overwhelming, I cannot take it all in. I am not sure most people realize the extent of what has been going on in my life for the past eight weeks plus, or, indeed, the past twenty two years or so.

All things considered, I am doing remarkably well. I have achieved an awful lot in such a short time. I am a functional human being who takes care of himself and his immediate environment. I am holding down a job and doing well at it. Which is impressive, considering I took an extended break from regular employment for some sixteen years, and the break from the office environment was closer to twenty one years. I have a singleminded tenacity that will not falter.

Yesterday I was presented with the opportunity to spend some time with some very good friends. Friends who have the enviable ability and means to fly. This is something I aspire to. The thought of taking to the air and experiencing self-controlled flight has lodged itself within me. It is something I will be doing in the not too distant future. I plan on getting the ground handling down first, and being as competent at that as I can possibly be. I am in no hurry to launch myself into the air in any sort of state that would be less than being exceptionally well prepared. I am told that ground handling is, in fact, harder than actual flight. Glad to hear it, as I will be making sure I am a veritable expert at it before attempting to leave the security of solid ground.

I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity of a tandem flight, thanks to the aforementioned friends. I would have to say that it was the single-most exciting experience I have had in my life. As I was warned beforehand, I would be at a loss for words when asked to describe just exactly what it was like. I could only manage some sort of vague noise that approximated the sheer exhilaration that I felt being suspended aloft and moving silently through the ‘ether’. I discovered then that I was entirely correct in believing I would love to paraglide. I felt absolutely no fear during the brief flight. My pilot was highly experienced, and spent much longer checking all the equipment and adjusting as necessary. My confidence in him was at a maximum. I dare say there will, however, be some degree of trepidation when I fly solo.

Anyway, so my friends decided that they would like to try and fly from one of the mountains that surround our beautiful lake, Meðalfellsvatn. So off we went in search of a suitable take off point nearby. After a short reconnoiter a spot was decided upon, we parked both vehicles at the base of the mountain,  and set off on the trek upward. I was not prepared with the correct footwear for the occasion, but I soldiered on regardless. ‘Biskupinn’ and I forged onward and upward, having set our sights on nothing less than the very apex of the mountain that lay before us. We opted to follow the way up that water had taken down. The water had done the job of clearing the looser items from the ground, leaving the larger rocks and stones to provide a good footing for our ascent.

We made good time, and were soon atop the mountain looking down on the lush valley below. What a wondrous sight it all was. This was the first time I had seen it all from a high vantage point. I could see my abode off in the distance, down there in the midst of the sea of summer houses that litter the valley surrounding the lake. The sensation of being on top of a mountain is similar to being at the foot of a mountain, but rather somewhat in reverse (just like if you look in one end of a telescope, and then look in the other). We had a thoroughly excellent view of the landscape in all directions. Even being able to see Snæfellsjökull quite clearly in the very extreme distance.

We located a decent site for take off, and ‘Biskupinn’ began doing the normal pre-flight routine that he has developed into a ritual. Ritual is very helpful in this sort of situation, it provides for nothing important being forgotten. He asked to verify a few things with the radio, then said he was “just going to do some ground handling” before the actual take off. It turned out that this was simply a ‘cunning device’ to take the pressure off of making the decision to launch into flight immediately. Which was what he chose to do, once the wing was directly above him, and ready to carry him aloft over the valley below. So off he went, running and running, against the wind that would carry him through the air, and off the edge of the mountain where he took to the air almost exactly in the same manner as an albatross might.

The flight was all it could have been. ‘Biskupinn’ is experienced enough to handle all manner of situations when it comes to paragliding. There wasn’t all the lift he might have hoped for, but he made the most of things. Ending up with something along the lines of a fifteen minute or so flight as he descended toward the valley floor below. I began my descent almost immediate to his take off. Getting down a mountain is far easier than getting up one, rest assured. One only has to make sure the speed is not too fast. He landed safely in the field below, fully intact, and with the comforting sense of another successful flight.

I enjoy observing the process of paragliding, it is good preparation, I believe, for when I will take to the air myself.

The hike up the mountain and the hike back down were most agreeable. The time spent on top even more so. I hope to some day do the hike across Meðalfell itself. Taking my camera so I can get some great shots of the valley and of my humble abode.

It is moments like these that life is meant for. For making the decision to climb a mountain. To stand atop and survey all beneath. To descend once more and return to the plane which we normally inhabit. Perhaps with a new perspective on all of it, but at least with having had a different perspective for a brief time.

I – want – to – fly!

Bless Bless og Sjáumst!

2 responses to “I Want To Fly (Mig Langar Að Fljúga)

Comments are closed.