I spent the afternoon driving my new Lincoln Aviator. After I got it washed in Stittsville the rambling tour was about the back roads of Lanark County. It would be quite inaccurate to suggest I either flew or sailed but the sensation was I am sure similar.  I am guessing because the closest I have come to flying an aircraft was when I flew from Miami to Key West in a plane that was so small I could tap the shoulder of the pilot.  The last time I sailed was in a skiff on the Baltic Sea near Stockholm, Sweden.  Both incidents were are very long time ago.  I am however content to equate today’s exhilarating automotive experience to the much renowned businesses of flying and sailing.

 My father was a pilot.  His flying reminiscences were like all other recollections of his, which is to say mostly private.  But whenever I caught him admiring a hawk high in the sky I could tell without asking that he was transfixed. Again it would be a stretch to say that my adventure today was of quite that noble character but I will say there was a good deal of expressive marvel uttered by me throughout the drive.

The stimuli for automobiles are various.  The obvious indicia are the mechanical and artistic features. But it is no accident that this particular vehicle is called “Aviator” because it captures the allure of flying – an acquaintance reputed to elevate the spirit in poetic ways. I have always imagined that the ideal flight would be in a glider – because it is a solitary episode with minimal sound other than the natural products of motion through the ether.  I speculate that the Aviator automobile runs a near second for tranquillity. While the underlying hint of road contact is inescapable, the cabin is otherwise muffled.

The predominance of technology in the Aviator reflects its surmounting automation. The theme enthuses watches for example. This engenders the added precision and superfluity of the product. I have already abandoned the hope of fully adapting the niceties of the numerous features hidden within the dashboard.  There are some skills which are not required for a satisfying experience.  One of my favourites for example is the sensation that the vehicle is almost driving itself in a straight, undisturbed line along the road. This character of secure and controlled progress is for me a highlight.

Certainly I make an effort to comprehend all the features that are available but I am primarily concerned with the fundamental mechanical demonstrations. It is the same motive which propels a decision about a piano; namely, the sound of it, not its appearance or other added refinements. Once having achieved an assessment of the primary features of the automobile, the other “complications” are discernible.

Flying and driving qualify for about the same amount of physical exertion. I suppose the famed white silk scarf lends an air of activity to the pilot but I am relieved in this instance by having cycled earlier this morning for the statutory ten kilometres along the former railway right-of-way. That modest venture afforded its own pleasures – though I confess I was anxious to commence the automotive tootle afterwards.