We live in a remarkable time. The daily activities that we take for granted would seem absolutely astonishing to the people of antiquity, but our mastery of flight is probably our most impressive achievement.
Centuries of trial and error culminated on Dec. 17, 1903, when Orville and Wilber Wright made two powered flights in an aircraft they built themselves. Through the course of time, innovative people advanced on the Wright’s achievement, including a human breaking the sound barrier on Oct. 14, 1947; amazingly it took less than 44-years to achieve such a feat.
As impressive as powered fight is, I think our ancestors would be more impressed with body flight. In past blog posts A Crow’s View has discussed skydiving achievements (Skydiving: Apocryphal Bravery & The Face Of Skydiving), so they will not be rehashed here. However, readers are asked to ponder what some of the greatest minds in history would think if they saw a modern skydiver. Do you think they would be amazed?
It is a safe bet that men such as Da Vinci, Julius Caesar, the Pharaoh Senefru (builder of the Great Pyramid), and others would quake with delight by witnessing such a spectacle. In their day flight was exclusive to insects and birds, while the sky was the realm of gods. I imagine if they saw modern skydivers, and how they use their bodies to fly, would absolutely enchant them.
In truth, to a large degree, I think skydiving still captivates contemporary humans by defying years of evolution. Perhaps this defiance is what makes Da Vinci’s quote accurate. However, A Crow’s View suggest that if Da Vinci were here in the modern era, he would phrase it this way: “Once you have tasted skydiving, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”