“Flight attendants, please prepare the cabin for arrival.” the words echoed somewhere high above southern Ohio.

I double checked my seat belt, and then checked the belt of the young girl next to me. Clara was gazing blankly at the back of the seat in front of her, tired and thoughtful. It had been a long day. I smiled.

“So, you know what that means don’t you, Clara?” I asked cheerfully.


“The pilot just told the flight attendants to prepare the cabin for arrival.”

“Oh,” she looked past me, out the window, the tired lines on her face glowing as she thought. Finally she shrugged, “I guess they mean, like, they are getting a cabin ready so we have somewhere to stay when we crash in the woods.”

I watched her casually go back to eating a small pile of pretzels.

“Huh,” I said, and then slowly turned back to the window. “Huh…”

I pressed my forehead to the glass and looked down. Through the patches of clouds I could see a doll house sized forest far below us. And for a brief moment I thought I might have seen the shape of a cozy cabin in the woods. A few canoes tied to a dock out front. Smoke rising from the chimney as some kind flight attendant prepared our lunch. We could spend our two week vacation there, visiting squirrel holes, fishing our meals from the lake, sketching trees with crayons, skipping stones, dancing together in the soft warm rain, watching the sun set into the forest every night as we wandered off to bed with our heads resting on each other’s shoulders.

Our plane hit a sudden bump of turbulence and for half of a thrilling second I smiled and thought we were about to crash.