It certainly is no secret that we have spent the week at the EAA Airventure Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. If you have the faintest interest in aviation – this is the place for you. If you’re not sure if you’re interested – this is the place to find out. If you’re not into aviation, don’t go, I guess. Somebody has to keep the rest of the world going. This post is not about aviation, but what you find at this magical place.
If you’ve never been, it is hard to imagine – actually impossible to envision the scope of this event. This year was so well attended that extra parking lots and camping sites were added. Wittman Field becomes THE busiest airport in the world – literally – for this week. That is not where the magic is. Imagine a gathering of approximately 500,000 people with a common interest – from all over the world. Imagine being able to see that interest represented in historical, current, conventional, unconventional, and conceptual fashion – all in the same place.
Within the first five minutes of being “at the show”, I felt giddy and overflowing with happy. In this place, I find that childlike wonder and amazement – that feeling of knowing that anything is possible. This place is alive with possibility and passion, this is where dreams come true and you can see them in the sky. There is no age limit, either. Almost without exception, you can walk up to a friend you haven’t yet met and easily strike up a conversation-after all, you’re there for the same reason.
Your dreams are given wings, and you believe that everything is possible. I even looked into aerospace careers at one of the college displays-and bless those kids – they treated me like it was possible for old ladies! I didn’t really have an agenda as we sometimes do when we plan our annual pilgrimage – sometimes we are very focused. This year, I wanted to be sure to learn a new building technique – learned how to rivet sheet metal; wanted to learn more about electronic flight bags – attended three forums; attend the events planned to support women in aviation – I did; and learn some safety “stuff” to make me a better pilot – I did. I also wanted to meet at least one new “friend” a day – blew right past that plan. If you know me, you know that I am not a very outgoing person most of the time. I’m working on that, and this week provided me with ample opportunity. The rest of the time was spent absorbing, learning, imagining and dreaming.
One of my favorite places to visit is the NASA display. I grew up with the space program. The technologies that are out there just continue to amaze me. We talked with several of the representatives from the different “branches” in NASA. I am in awe of the brilliant minds and warm personalities of these young men and women. Their enthusiasm is contagious, their inspiration is magnificent.
I still have my weekly admission bracelet on – right next to my Well Fit Tribe band, and my Grace bracelet (my arm is starting to look like a billboard for my passions and interests). Bill and I laughed about taking them off (the admission bracelets). I told him that I really wanted to keep it on for a while yet. It reminds me of the incredible joy potential of this past week. It is so sad that as we become adults, we lose our ability to discover and wonder and be amazed and believe in our dreams as easily as we did as children. We didn’t know about all the rules then, all the can’ts, shouldn’ts, won’t works, – all the reasons that we shouldn’t just believe that we can make magic happen.
My wish – for you and for me – is that we can find that place where dreams are possibilities, passions prevail, and possibilities are realities. And that we can have that every day. Resurrect your inner child and make regular play dates. Think about your “Oshkosh”. Why does it make you feel so strong? So possible? So happy? What can you do to integrate that into your everyday? Find your dreams, possibilities, and passions. Believe in them, and they will happen!