#TablePlank or the “Plateaux Plank”… @mypeakchallenge #plankaroundtheworld #Peakers #WhatATotalPlanker | South Africa | March 19, 2017 (*at least now we are sure that the guy near Cait was not Sam :p )
a great flowing disc that slid upward, out of the water and into the sky like a phoenix rising. The water was dark now, and the dolphins invisible, but I thought somehow that they were still there, keeping pace with the ship on her flight through the dark.
It was a scene breathtaking enough even for the sailors, who had seen it a thousand times, to stop and sign with pleasure at the sight, as the huge orb rose to hang just over the edge of the world, seeming almost near enough to touch.
Jamie and I stood close together by the rail, admiring it. It seemed to close that we could make out with ease the dark spots and shadows on its surface.
“It seems so close ye could speak to the Man in the Moon,” he said, smiling, and waved a hand in greeting to the dreaming golden face above.
“‘The weeping Pleaids wester / and the moon is under seas’“ I quoted. “And look, it is down there, too.” I pointed over the rail, to where the trail of moonlight deepened, flowing in the water as though a twin of the moon itself were sunken there.
“When I left,” I said, “men were getting ready to fly to the moon. I wonder whether they’ll make it.”
“Do the flying machines go so high, then?” Jamie asked. He squinted at the moon. “I should say it’s a great way, for all it looks so close just now. I read a book by an astronomer – he said it was perhaps three hundred leagues from the earth to the moon. Is he wrong, then, or is it only that the – airplanes, was it? – will fly so far?”
“It takes a special kind, called a rocket,” I said. “Actually, it’s a lot farther than that to the moon, and once you get far away from the earth, there’s no air to breathe in space. They’ll have to carry air with them on the voyage, like food and water. They put it in sort of canisters.”
“Really?” He gazed up, face full of light and wonder. “What will it look like there, I wonder?”
“I know that,” I said. “I’ve seen pictures.” It’s rocky, and barren, with no life at all – but very beautiful, with cliffs and mountains and craters – you can see the caters from here; the dark spots,” I nodded toward the smiling moon, then smiled at Jamie myself. “It’s not unlike Scotland – except that it isn’t green.”
He laughed, then evidently reminded by the word “pictures,” reached into his coat and drew out the little packet of photographs. He was cautious about them, never taking them out where they might be seen by anyone, even Fergus, but we were alone back here, with little chance of interruption.
The moon was bright enough to see Brianna’s face, glowing and mutable, as he thumbed slowly through the pictures. The edges were becoming frayed, I saw.
“Will she walk about on the moon, d’ye think?” he asked softly, pausing at a shot of Bree looking out a window, secretly dreaming, unaware of being photographed. He glanced up again at the orb above us, and I realized that for him, a voyage to the moon seemed very little more difficult or farfetched than the one in which we were engaged. The moon, after all, was only another distant, unknown place.
“I don’t know,” I said, smiling a bit.
He thumbed through the pictures slowly, absorbed as he always was by the sight of his daughter’s face, so like his own. I watched him quietly, sharing his silent joy at this promise of our immortality.