A view from on (not too) high

Helicopter view

Today, my husband and I finally went on the helicopter flight I had bought him for his birthday last year. It was fantastic. Perfect clear sky, no wind and due to a ‘no-show’, it was just us and the very friendly 22 year old pilot.

I’m not a huge fan of flying of any sort, and when in a standard aeroplane, I always book an aisle seat so I don’t have to look out the window and see the yawning gap between me and solid ground. My husband, however, loves it. He’s been up in a drifter, six seater plane, hot air balloon and now, to round out the set, a helicopter. (He will accept any offers to take him up in a military jet, bi-plane or rocket, so let me know…I need a gift for this years present!)

I’m certainly not the first one to talk about the perspective one gains from being above the earth and the parallels with life.

Yet for me, it was such a different view than any I’ve experienced before. What I loved about the helicopter view is that it wasn’t too high.

When you’re up in a big plane, you soon lose sight of the earth and are above the clouds; in a helicopter, you can see the ground the whole time.

A ‘helicopter’ view is different to a ‘big plane’ view in that you are still close enough to see details and get an overview of how things are. Things look small but still significant, unlike from a big plane where the buildings and landscape are soon reduced to blurry specks.

Sometimes, we need to view our lives more from a helicopter perspective than a plane. To still see the details and be able to recognise the objects on our landscape enables us to properly work on whatever problem we may be facing. Problems don’t disappear or become covered in cloud, but they are put into perspective. A helicopter view gives us enough height to see things for what they are  – important but probably not as tall and consuming as it feels close up.

We don’t always need the long view of our issues which can make us feel like our problems are insignificant, when, often, they are real and need addressing.

Sometimes, we just need to hover a little while in a helicopter, gain some perspective and an acknowledgement that the problem is indeed there. Then we can assess what changes need to be made with greater insight and precision.

Does your life need a ‘helicopter’ view?

6 thoughts on “A view from on (not too) high

  1. As I said on FaceBook, I have long loved flying in anything that anybody will let me go up in. (I’m not, however, a pilot.)

    An observation I have made is that looking at familiar territory from a couple of thousand feet up gives one a different perspective of the obstacles we normally take for granted. A river, a freeway, a railroad yard can bisect a city or a neighborhood. Even a low range of hills or mountains can be intimidating on the ground. It always surprises me to see how close two such divided areas are once you are in the air. The obstacle is shown in perspective.

    Perhaps we need to take a look at the “obstacles” in our lives that seem to separate us from where we want to go and see if they are really as great as our grounded perspective shows them to be.


  2. I’ve been up in a balloon, a small four-seater, a helicopter, and the ex flew a Long EZ (two seater). The perspective is so much different. I have also spent a lot of time on a bicycle seat and that was an education as well – I saw landscapes and buildings from a much different perspective. And yes, sometimes life in general needs a poke to give you a different view. Just trying to see a situation from someone else’s perspective is also an education.


    • Yes, I’ve heard that the perspective from a bike (either pedal or motor) is different again. I’m not a cyclist and while I love motorbikes, I haven’t been on one in years. We can learn so much from many different perspectives 🙂


  3. Oooh, I like this one a lot, Susannah. Well, I like all your posts, but this one hits closer to home than usual. I’m not a big fan of flying either, which is why I’m sitting on two tickets our son gifted us for a hot air balloon ride. After reading your post, maybe I need that perspective.


    • Thanks Kim 🙂 Now, I’m not trying to put you off but hot air balloons scare me silly!! For our daughter’s 13th birthday, we bought her and my husband tickets. They loved it! And for our son’s 13, they went up in a drifter. I was firmly on the ground for both events. I have no idea what the gift is going to be for our youngest’s 13th but I can tell you, it will not involve me! (Unless it’s a helicopter, of course, now that I’m a convert!) I’ll look forward to a post on your blog once you’ve been up and are back on terra firma once again 🙂


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