My love of planes started when I was young.
My parents took us to Centennial Park one day in the west end of Toronto. I think I was six years old. We climbed the hill at the centre of the park and had a clear view of the airport. We watched the planes take off and land. My brother and sister could care less, they were more interested in pushing each other down the hill, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the runway.
It took all of five minutes to become hooked.
I walked back down the hill with one singular goal in my mind, one day I was going to become a pilot. Over the next few years my near obsession with my goal grew. I bought a book that had in it the registration number of every plane on the planet. On Saturday nights, my dad would take me to the roof of the airport parking lot and with a set of binoculars in one hand, and a pencil in the other, I would write down the number of every plane I could see. I would then come home and mark them off in my book. I wanted to collect them all!! The more exotic the airline, the more excited I was.
The next step on my journey to becoming a pilot, was purchasing a radio through which I could hear the conversations between the pilots and the air traffic controllers. I would then drag my very patient and long-suffering dad back up Centennial Hill, and we would spend hours sitting on the grass listening in to the conversations going on at the airport.
I loved it when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, because I would stand tall and say, “I’m going to be a pilot.” I never wavered from that goal!!
So why didn’t it work out? It came down to two factors, as a teenager I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, and I’m really, really, really bad at math!!
I have no regrets. Life has turned out very well for me. I love what I do, and I believe that I am doing what I am meant to do. But some dreams don’t die, they just go into hibernation.
About a month ago I came across an advertisement for a flight school at the airport in Oro. I contacted them and got some details, and before I knew It, I was up in a Cessna with a great flight instructor called Nate. He took care of the take offs and landings, but let me spend an hour flying the plane all over Barrie and up and down Kempenfelt Bay. In those moments, my dream woke up!! Two hours and few dollars later, I was signed up to take my private pilot’s license. Its expensive, so I will chip away at it over many months, but I am now on a journey that I have waited a lifetime to fulfill. And it feels great!!
In the book of Ecclesiastes, it says, “to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” I had to wait a long time for this season to come along, but it did. Isn’t it funny how we think we can outsmart time? We want to rush it, force it, control it. Maybe the key instead is to trust it. And not only trust it, but enjoy the season that we are in. Seasons don’t last, but dreams do.
And this journey I’m dedicating to my amazing dad, who nurtured my dream even when it was out of season.