"Ladies and gentlemen, your attention - for your safety be aware of the following: A safety card is in your seat pocket showing the exit routes, oxygen masks, life jackets, and brace position that you must adopt if you hear 'brace, brace'.
There are two emergency exits at the rear, four in the middle and two at the front of the cabin".
As we pull away from the terminal and taxi towards the end of the runway, I look out of the window. The early morning sky is already a beautiful shade of blue. Soon I will be lifted from the earth, high above the clouds once more. My mind begins to wander up and out of the cabin to a place filled with an Orange Blossom breeze and a burning sun.
"Floor lighting will guide you to an exit. Be aware of your nearest exit. In an emergency leave all cabin baggage on-board".
With engines full throttle and seconds before the brakes are released, a thought occurs to me: in the event of an airborne crisis, we will be fully prepared with everything we need to know to help us get through it.
But what if the air supply doesn't fail, or we don't land on water. What if the emergency is invisible to everyone but ourselves? How do we brace for the agony of a heartbreak, the loss of a loved one, a job, a dream, or the countless other challenges that life throws at us on a daily basis? Where is the life jacket, oxygen mask and low level lighting then? Sometimes in life things pop up to throw us off track. We think we will never again be able to open our hearts, or dare to dream, or give in to hope. But with every knock-back comes a new beginning; an opportunity to learn a lesson and shine brighter than ever before.