It felt like forever though it was only three weeks.. three weeks between my last flight and the one I did today. But it felt like forever... it did. It's strange what things stay in memory the longest. This last week I had two strong impressions of flying.. one was the sound of the plane engine going from 1000 RPM to full throttle on the take off roll. I know exactly what that sounds like, I can hear it in my mind right now. The other sound is my CFI's voice. I can hear the tone, not the words.
In any case, I was finally able to get back up where I belong today. I went to South County airport about 16 NM away and flew in the pattern. My patterns had been suffering recently, especially my base to final turns. So I wanted to work on that. After countless hours and circuits of the pattern in my primary training I'm somewhat surprised I was actually excited about going to do pattern work again. I had fun. The winds made it more challenging than usual but I did OK. I made mistakes and fixed them, I improved on the areas I intended to focus on. I did four circuits in the pattern at South County, returned to Reid-Hillview, and landed happy.
As I taxied back to parking the sun's light was slanting across the runways and the planes started to take on the golden glow of sunset. I shut down the plane and pushed it back into its spot. I ran my fingers over the prop and smelled the hot metal of the engine. The winds seemed calmer now and the air was clear. I leaned against the plane for a while and smiled ... I felt more relaxed at that moment than I had in a very, very long time. It was very good to be back.