It's 4th of July and I am on a flight from California to DC. As I watch the Bay Area fade into the Central Valley (the forests fading into the desert), I find myself admiring cluster after cluster of identical matchbox homes and circuit-board cities. I am filled with an odd sense of patriotism- not 4th of July nationalism per se, but a larger, more general feeling of human championship.
We are a people that build bridges and roads and air planes. We zig-zag across the earth, carving ourselves into the land we insist on taming and domesticating. We've evolved past being survivalists- we are conquerors.
Ironically, at 30 thousand feet in the air, I am quickly humbled and reminded of the limits to human enterprise. As I look down at the Sierra Navadas, I marvel at their awesomeness and how, in one sweeping glance, they stop even the most arrogant sense of human entitlement to survival.
So here's to a great 4th of July celebration from window seat 10A.
May our victories always be remembered with humility and may all my future flights be this entertaining. =)