I awoke to the sensation of dawn rising.
Somewhere between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
41,000 feet above.
Bound for central China.
The cabin was silent but for me,
as the black night yielded to the dawn.
The closed, mysterious, secretive and distant lands of the republics of the former Soviet Empire lay shut beneath me.
Sapphire glows pleated the ledge between Heaven and the Earth.
Dawn’s cautious sunlight sprinkled the horizon with its amber glow.
Lonely, apricot coloured, clouds drifted past me through the vast, empty sky.
Crossing the lands which mark the border between Islam and Buddhism.
Ancient seats of nomadic empires laid in horizonless steppes.
Silk roads holding secrets deep.
Passing over lands where Ghenghis Khan had once weaved his armies,
bringing Empires remote violently down onto their knees.
Crystal clear torrents.
Glaciers running slowly through icy veins.
Rippling gales chasing bareness, everywhere.
Endless white planes.
Centuries old. Wild and untouched.
Stony mountains climbing so high I could almost reach out and touch them.
cut by time and dreaded weather,
promising to hold off summer and spring.
I felt like I was at the earth’s edge.
And, as I drifted further East,
I thought of you,
as winter stretched out everlasting,
and my warm tears threatened to melt the snow beneath me.