I am on the Port Jefferson ferry heading toward Bridgeport. I sit at a booth, netbook on table, engrossed in writing this blog, totally oblivious of anything that might be happening around me.
Aren’t we usually involved in our own thing when we travel? And isn’t that what all 150 people were doing on Flight 9525 when they suddenly plunged out of the sky? Such an unimaginable ending for these innocent lives. How many passengers were engrossed in reading a book, in writing, in snacking or even sleeping when they suddenly became startled by the pilot furiously axing at the cockpit door. Many recovered cell phones revealed screaming as the passengers had a jolt of realization that the plane was plunging into the French Alps.
I cringe at the unexpected horror of it all.
We put our lives in the hands of strangers every time we climb aboard some mode of transportation. We relinquish all control to someone trained to get us to our destination. Maybe that is why many people have a fear of flying. But what are we to do? What are our alternatives? Lock ourselves behind closed doors never venturing into the world?
How terribly tragic our lives would be if we allowed one single incident, even many incidents, to steal our freedom. We can’t kowtow to the threats and dreadful actions of a few.
Are we to cancel planned trips? Are we to give up adventures that could add so much quality to our lives? I think fondly of my adventures in Italy, England, France, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Hawaii and so many other fascinating places that I have had the privilege to explore. I am thankful for my visits and for the wonderful memories that I will treasure forever.
So much has happened during my travels over the years. The viruses on cruise ships, all of those railway disasters that happen too frequently these days and the airplane disasters like the mysterious Malaysian airline disappearance of last year.
Such tragic events do cause one to hesitate, but must not force us to lock ourselves in our sanctuaries and forego adventures.
Just last weekend, Coney Island’s Cyclone got stuck on its first ride of the season. A spokeswoman for the park said the cause was an isolated mechanical issue. But Cyclone enthusiasts won’t let one little misstep keep them away from this iconic roller coaster. For some families an outing at Coney Island and riding the Cyclone is a tradition they wouldn’t think of giving up. Yes, this is just another example of living your life, of going out there and enjoying all that waits just outside your front door.
I am almost at Bridgeport. I can see the harbor in the distance. I happily anticipate a fun filled visit in Connecticut with my good friends. This ferry respectfully gave its passengers a smooth ride over the sound, an uneventful one, thank goodness.
It is important that we live our lives, we make those plans, we go on vacation, we take a plane, a boat, a train, a bus, a car. Be smart, be aware of your surroundings, but don’t allow these events to stop you from enjoying your life.
Barbara Anne Kirshner is the author of Madison Weatherbee-The Different Dachshund. She is a regular contributor to DansPapers.com.