Thursday, November 22, 2012

flying.

On my six-hour flight from the east coast to the west, I was on a plane that had small monitors on the back of each seat so that passengers could watch movies or tv shows the whole way.  I never watched anything, happy to have some extended quiet time to read my book, but I did set the screen to a map of a US that showed an icon of a small plane slowly inching its way to California.  The map demonstrated for me where I was in real time. 

I love to fly because I love the idea of not being anywhere, of being suspended, of being between, and not on the ground.  It makes me reflective and light-hearted and grateful.  I feel especially annoyed by people who complain about the stresses of traveling when what I would like to think about is the romantic and incredible idea of flight.  Come on, people, are you not grateful that it is taking us six hours to get across our vast country?  That we are FLYING?  And all the while we are sipping ice water and snacking on pretzels, or in my case, a carefully-packed box of snacks that included dried fruit, almonds, graham crackers and nutella that I purchased for $7.95.  And that is fantastic!  It is so utterly cool how comfortable I was, legs criss-crossed with a book in my lap and a carrot-wheat grass juice in my hand.

 I suppose when I only fly a few times a year at the very most, that I am able to maintain a sense of gratitude and adventure about the very notion of flight.  I don’t find it annoying at all.  I think about how many people who have never had the opportunity or resources to pay for a flight across the world or the country.  My dad used to marvel aloud whenever we traveled as a family at how amazing it is to fly.  He would recount stories of early settlers traveling by horseback or wagon and remind us how amazing it is that we were flying!  So I guess I owe my dad for this sense of wonder and appreciation.  You wake up in your own little bed in Maine, and you have dinner with your brother, 3000 miles away,  in California.  It’s a good life. 

On the map, as our plane inched toward California, I thought about all of the people I love below me. What an incredible concept, really.   I flew from Newark straight across to San Francisco, along a trajectory with a slight northward arc so that I was able to drop little love bombs onto Marjorie and Jeffrey in NY and then Kelly and Patty and Hadley in Ohio. Laura in Evanston, Illinois. Adrienne and Lloyd in Michigan.  I sent love to Iowa because it was my favorite state on my cross-country drives, all that achingly flat land and blue sky and all those beautifully symmetrical rows of corn, and said hey to Kristin.  I dropped love on Stephani in Boulder, Colorado and then only a few minutes later (because I'm flying!) I felt a palpable closeness to Sarah in Grand Junction.  30 minutes later,  I was directly over Salt Lake City.  My sister Liesel!  My sweet blonde nephews!  My cousin Tiercy.  My brother-in-law Craig, undergoing surgery at that very moment for a new cancer diagnosis (please pray).  I gave the Utah clan everything I had from 35,975 feet above them.  So far and yet so very close. 



Happy Thanksgiving, America.  Happy Thanksgiving, all you people out there whom I love or don’t even know that I love, all you people who make up the landscape of my life.  Thank you for continuing to read this blog.  Thank you for sticking with me during the hard stuff and keeping me honest with myself.    Thank you for being out there, even when I’m not exactly sure who you are or where you are.

So thankful.  

for Reed and his little smile.


for my beautiful Skyler, my big girl

for yoga and sunshine

for breakfast bread pudding, made for me by Kristina. and for Kristina.
for running and for my running girls.

for Marjorie and friends who know all of me.
for my mom.
my sister

my perfect girlfriends

and our Maine life
for my brother.  and marshmallows.
for Ashley... who reads to my kids

and inspires them.
and for my marlee and all of her sunshine.
 for Tim.  The only person who understands how grateful I am for Tim is Tim himself. 
for signs from my daughter.

and signs from my brother, left on the bedside table of his guest room.

I'm off to sleep with city sounds out the window and the promise of a run and strong coffee in the morning.  Good night!

3 comments:

Rich said...

Beautiful.

Happy Turkey!

FrauB said...

I felt it drop! Did you see me and my one hundred family members playing bad lacrosse at the Northwestern field? I was the one with a baby in a Bjorn! Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend.

Kristin said...

Hey hey back at you! Have a happy Thanksgiving and a great time in SF. I still dream about the burritos there, I swear.