The Contrails of Life

The jet overhead flew at such a high altitude that I couldn’t hear the sound of the rumbling engines from the ground. Instead of tracing the direction of the plane with my ears, I tracked it with my eyes. From the engines streamed a trail of condensation trails known as contrails for short.

I followed the trails to the source, the jet far above my head. The trails were very small, almost a pinpoint in the sky when they first appeared behind the engine. But the more distant the trails got from the source, the more they expanded in the cool air. What started off as a pencil-thin line from directly behind the plane grew into lingering, Sharpie-fat stripes in the sky.

Contrails have a scientific explanation involving the heat of the exhaust meeting the surrounding cold air, the formation of water and ice droplets, and saturation points. It’s all quite interesting as well as irrelevant to why such a sight made me stop and think for a long while.

While we fly through life each day, we leave a wake behind us. Is your wake one that lifts up others? Or is your wake considered a path of destruction? Regardless if you leave goodness and joy or negativity and pessimism, the wake behind you has the power to grow exponentially, long after you’ve flown on to another destination.

Think of those who have flown past you for the briefest of moments, leaving you feeling uplifted, positive, and nurtured. Now think of those whose very sight chilled your bones and sucked your joy.

You will leave contrails today. Choose to leave your mark in such a way that people will be drawn to your wake for inspiration and hope.

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