Keep Moving. By Owen Zupp.

Owen Zupp Keep Moving

(Image: Manning River Times)


Keep Moving.  

I’m an early riser by nature, so to see the glowing red digits on the clock reading 3:44 am and deciding to get the day underway is not particularly unusual. Still, this morning was different. The pandemic had just raised its ugly head and I had been stood down from flying duties. In the fog of those first minutes of consciousness, the core of a dream remained with me, as it does today. And I didn’t need a PhD in psychoanalysis to suggest what was the underlying theme.
In the dream, I am standing on a riverbank – for some reason, I think it is the Manning River near Taree. I’m peering across the waters to the other side and I’m having difficulty in focusing on the distant shore. For some reason, I am desperate to get to the other side, even though I have no idea what is over there.
As I ponder my options, I note that the water is not calm and clear. It is muddied in the way that rivers are after a flood. There are tiny eddies everywhere and suspicious debris popping above the surface before diving back into the depths. I rate my chances of being able to swim across as zero, even if I am game enough to plunge into the murky, fast-flowing mess. Which I am not.
As I stand there, I feel my footing giving away and look down to see the edge of the embankment crumbling beneath my feet. Only then do I look anywhere other than at the other side of the river. As they say in the military, I look left and right of arc. And only then do I see the long-standing bridge over the Manning.
I think many of us have shared this feeling at some time during the pandemic, particularly those in the aviation and related industries. We desperately want to return to the sky, but the timeframe is open-ended – a source of frustration for those who have spent their lives flight-planning to the nearest minute. And we cannot currently grasp what the “new normal” of aviation will necessarily look like. It seems like a long, uncertain swim that lies ahead – until we look to our left and right.
The shortest distance may be a straight line but there are no straight lines in our world at present. We need to adapt and look for strategies beyond our normal field of view. It may mean the journey is longer and we may have to do some leg work before we even get to the bridge, but once there, we will have a better view of what lies ahead from our elevated position. The eddies and turbulence will still exist but now we can navigate them.
The only flawed strategy in my opinion is to do nothing. The other side won’t get any closer and our current foothold may slip away from beneath us. I decided to look for options to the left and right and get moving. I still want to return to the skies and I’m not sure how long it may take to cross this bridge, but I’m safe and dry and with a perspective that I had not previously possessed. Life is good.
….and yes, I sleep very well these days. Thanks for asking.

Stay safe.

Read Owen’s books here…

Adaptability. Do It Like a Pilot Book