by Dave Markwell 
Tonight I am sitting on an airplane flying over the vast nothing of the Pacific Ocean travelling from Hawaii to Seattle. My son lies next to me with his head on this fold down tray. My wife and daughter sit across the aisle, restlessly trying to find a comfortable position to sleep.
We are flying the red-eye from Kauai to home during the hour of whispers. This is a time usually, and rightfully, reserved for other things besides sitting in a cramped chair for five straight hours watching strangers sleep with their mouths open. Though mildly amusing, my alternative preferences would be many.
The hour of whispers is a solemn time of soft tones and touch and sacred conversation. It is a healing time…unless you’re on an airplane flying over the ocean. Then, it’s something else. However, since I’m returning from a warm weather vacation, I can’t complain too much. In my world, vacations are rare. Thus, they are valuable and I do not take even a long, dark plane ride for granted.
For a solid week, my family and I swam and ate and played cards and explored the ins and outs of a new place. In damp trunks and flip flops, we cruised the island at a pace of our choosing. We were deciders. We could do or not do. And it was nice.
It is rare to have such control. Perhaps this is why we value vacations so much: we have total sanction over our hours. This feels good. It is necessary and right and reminds us of a deeper connection to the larger world and our place in it. In all of us, buried in some deep pocket of our characters, resides an ancestral nomad intent on seeing the world. Most of the time, this neat little dude or dudette suffers in silence as we go about our business, marking time for someone else. That’s why it’s fun to let this little feller out once in a while. We are reminded that he/she exists at all.
As I glanced out the window past my son and a large stranger, I caught a wonderful shot of the moon. Low and bright over the wing of the aircraft, for a brief moment, the moon was mine. And we travelled, as explorers have since the dawn of time, in a necessary collaboration of spirit and light. Then, the moon moved to someone else’s window. Though the moment was brief, it, too, reminded me of great mysteries and fantastic wonders of this world and made me appreciate the ones I love sitting near me, sleeping with their mouths open on an airplane over the ocean…
[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here ). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here . Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit !]