May 28, 2011

Cradle of Aviation

Without having any definite plans for the start of this Memorial Day weekend, I simply opted to let the GPS guide me. I entered "museum" and it took me to "The Cradle of Aviation"--a place that chronicles the history and progression of the human race’s journey into the sky.

The first room of the building is dedicated to the earliest objects to ever leave the ground--basic hot air balloons and kites. There are dioramas set up depicting the fundamentals of aerodynamic movement. At the touch of a button, museum patrons can inflate a balloon and watch it ascend to the ceiling on the power of a single light. The tour continues along a corridor dedicated to the world’s first flying machines, many of them quite comic in design. Such is the case of the propeller bicycle; I somehow doubt that a contraption like that ever left the ground. On the walls, there are vintage advertisements and several black and white photographs that catalogue early flight attempts. These brought a smile to my face. I always find black and white photographs to have great character and innocence.

Next, one finds the museum’s largest section; its exhibits span the eras from antique wooden planes, through combat fighters, up to modern jumbo jets. It is wonderful to stroll around these hulking exoskeletons, knowing that they once patrolled the skies. The feeling is one of utter veneration. At one point, there is a cockpit of a bomber set up so that guests can sit at the controls and imagine themselves on a mission. It is like reliving a little piece of history.

From here, the tour continues down a hallway of stars and arrives in the era of lunar modules and space capsules. It is comforting to know that the human spirit can truly reach the stars with just a little bit of imagination…

The remainder of the museum is dedicated to the space age, even down to the clever bathroom signs.

Even the museum cafĂ© had a distinctly Martian feel. As I sat on the Red planet and ate my potato chips, I thought it a perfect complement to the day that a bird swooped down from one of the overhead rocket ships and perched itself on the chair next to me. After all, in a museum dedicated to flight, who better to share lunch with than one of God’s winged creatures.

Today, may your soul soar in clear blue skies on the power of hope, gratitude, and kindness. Love & light…

"Stand still and consider
the wondrous works of God."

~Job 37:14