Recently, the Imperial Valley Press published an article written by someone who was annoyed by the loud sounds of our military planes. While respecting his opinion, I wish to offer an alternate view.
Also living within the flight pattern of our Navy base, I feel a deep sense of pride each time I witness these magnificent planes, piloted by highly skilled men, soaring in our beautiful cloudless skies while performing complex maneuvers with graceful elegance.
Long ago, we regularly attended the San Diego Starlight Opera held in the Balboa Park grotto. Frequently, during the play, ear-splitting sounds boomed as giant planes suddenly appeared over the hill, seeming low enough to touch. Animation on the stage would momentarily suspend while seasoned actors and crew “froze” in place, only to re-animate without missing a beat when the plane had passed. We react much the same way here. Anytime the sound drowns out a conversation in our home, we simply hesitate until the planes have passed over and continue with our discussion. No big deal.
More importantly, I am proud of our young men and women who dedicate their lives toward protecting our nation. The sounds of the planes confirm that someone is protecting us and our country.
On another front, a couple of weeks ago, I was to meet my daughter in San Diego. The weather was cold and blustery and very wet, but not wanting to disappoint her, I bundled up and set upon a journey that would be one of the most unforgettable of my life. Even after countless treks to San Diego I never tire of the beautiful view.
However, though I had read about the giant windmills being installed in the foothills, I had not seen them, so I was totally unprepared for the awful sight that met me as I approached Ocotillo. One would think that if the area was to be peppered with atrocious stanchions like giant pinworms gobbling up the countryside, a color more harmonious than refrigerator white could have been chosen to soften the stark reminder of “progress at work.” Years earlier another power grid had been built across the desert and through the mountains. Although not beautiful, this power line showed signs an effort was made to blend the metal towers into the surrounding terrain.
Still reeling from the ugly sight, I began to climb the hill and as I rounded the last set of curves, I noticed that specks of snow had fallen around the tower. But, what I saw as I rounded the last curve, took my breath away as I beheld the most beautiful sight I think I have ever seen. For as far as we could see, my fellow travelers and I had come upon a heavy blanket of snow, covering every inch of the mountains surrounding us. Every bush and tree was covered with snow as if a flocking machine had worked overtime during the night.
All the cars around me slowed to view the sight and it seemed as if we were all slowly gliding through a fairy land of undisturbed white. There was no sound at all except for the sound of the tires singing on the wet surface of the highway. As we all traveled in synchronized motion, we saw that every inch of every single pasture was covered with a heavy blanket of snow while a low-hanging cloud enveloped us from above.
I am not a particularly religious person, but I felt God’s presence all through the hills that day. We remained under the spell of this pristine winter wonderland until we began our descent into Alpine Valley. What a magical moment! I am so grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature at work. Put into perspective, it makes our human annoyances like ugly windmills and loud sounds pale in comparison.