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Turbulence, and beauty, ahead

I recently found myself in the front seat of a helicopter. I was visiting the beautiful island of Kauai and had asked a local resident if you could only do ONE thing here, what should it be? A helicopter tour was the immediate, unequivocal response. So it was booked. The loading up was benign enough (except for that theygottaknowhowmuchyouweighpart!). Miles was a great pilot and we had thorough safety procedures before take off, or "up up and away," as he put it. It felt like another world as he swooped through The Grand Canyon of the Pacific (truly spectacular), climbed waterfall walls (a real treat because of recent rains), and curved along the Napali coast. He pointed out where all the island movies had been filmed, where Indiana Jones had been chased, and Johnny Depp had pirated, where Elvis had Blue Hawaiied. We saw where George Clooney had dealt with descendants and we cut across THE Jurassic Falls. Absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful, and a real gift because some areas are inaccessible except in this way. But somewhere along the way, I realized I had stopped snapping photos. My stomach was recognizing that I was swooping, climbing, and curving. My head was sternly telling my stomach to stop recognizing that. At one point, Miles came on the headset and asked me if I was okay. I gave him a big 'ole thumbs up lie. I didn't want the turbulence and I didn't want the bumpy ride. And I sure didn't want to talk about it. So I thought it best to blow it off and try not to acknowledge it. Of course that effort always ends in some version of doesn't work and I spent the rest of the flight alternating between worry and awe. But we had a fine finish and by the time he set our ride back down on the tarmac, two things had come into focus. Despite my best efforts to will away the down side, it wasn't possible. But what was possible was to appreciate that, despite the down side, the beauty and memory of the good side was so worth it.

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