Tuesday, February 25, 2014

There's something very humbling to me
about traveling high above the clouds 
enclosed in a metal tube.
Shooting through the sky at break neck speeds,
entrusting your life completely to a stranger with a license to fly.
I'm not a nervous flier (any more.)
My ever-growing faith that we are always exactly where we were meant to be,
no matter how uncomfortable or painful or terrifying the circumstance,
has allowed me to sit back and enjoy the ride,
. . .most days.
Yet there's still something about flying.
Suspended 29,000 feet above the world
with few distractions, essentially no exits,
nor safety nets and a REALLY limited view of what lies ahead,
that I often take stock of my life below.
Everything looks so different from up there.
It's a great place to think.
Maybe someday I'll just arrive to my seat and read a book or file my nails,
and not get all contemplative.
But there is and probably always will be 
an unrelenting pensive side to me.
One that rarely allows me to do mindless things without 
floating below the surface of my mind.
The whir of jet engines and recycling cabin air,
lulling me towards deeper, often ignored thoughts and feelings about my life.
But as most parents know,
their really isn't a whole lot of time to hear ourselves think.
Even tucked cozily in the comfort of a vinyl airline seat with the sound of the sky whipping by to drown out everything else.
I'm quickly snapped back to the present,
by a chubby little hand thrusting a teeny bag of Delta-brand peanuts in my face.
"Mom.  Mom!  Can you open deez for me?"
Back to reality.
We're traveling with children.
My deep thoughts will have to take an aisle seat for now.
"Are we there yet?  When will we be in Florida?!"
"Buddy.  We haven't taken off yet."
The recent Arctic-like Minnesota temperatures 
literally forced us to run.
I can't remember the last time I despised winter so much.
I love snow.  I love cold.  I love bundling up.
These days I LIVE to ski, 
so I've learned to embrace the two of those harsh conditions like old friends I haven't seen in a few years.
But this winter has been crazy.
We needed to trade snowflakes for palm trees. . .just for a bit.
We booked a last minute trip to one of the best "shelling" beaches south of Fort Myers,
not necessarily drawn to the appeal of "shelling," 
but to get the H out of town.  
To feel warmth AND sunshine at the SAME time.
And the kids had never seen the ocean.
So what better time.
It was amazing.
Which made me a little guilty for a second.
That not until now, have my children seen first hand
the rolling of ocean waves,
feel REAL sand between their toes.
Taste salt water as they leaped over and side-stepped the lapping waves.
"Mom!  The waves don't stop coming!"
Walking the lengths of shoreline, not just brother and sister anymore, 
but the only recognizable face for miles.
Friends in a new place.
To watch the waves curl around her ankles, just below her Hello Kitty pajama's.
Pure magic.   
And it rained the first two days.
Like, REALLY rained.
Heavy drops falling on our winter skin.
But we paid no mind.
It was warm and the pools were heated.
That's all we needed.
And for those two days, 
we seemed to be the only ones that didn't care.
There was no one as crazy as us "Northerners" 
who would dare venture into the "cold," thick fog and rain.
"We're from Minnesota," our reply to awkward stares and questioning glances.
"Ah.  Yes.  You're from the North."
The water was warm.  The drinks were cold.
Simple folk in comparison to these seaside living islanders.
So we literally soaked up every drop of tropical air.
Every grain of sand.
Every and any space of quiet and solitude we could find.
Every ray of sunshine and every ounce of chlorine.
The obvious differences from home and this new place, 
met us upon arrival.
Rather than pillaging squirrels and crows in our snow-covered yard,
pelicans flew high over the ocean, 
scoping out prey, dive-bombing on fish, 
and the way the little birds swim low over the water, 
dragging their beaks along the surface.
Rather than being met with white and gray and blue,
leafless trees and dangling icicles, 
everything is pastel.  
Hues of pink and purple and every shade of blue would greet us in the morning
and follow us to sunset.
How remarkable it is, 
that just a few hours from your life, 
lies a completely different world.
Even funnier how you think you know yourself.
How we just get used to life as one way, 
get comfortable, until we travel somewhere new and are shown the world from a different view.  
It shakes up what we thought to be true of ourselves and our lives.
I've learned this. . .
everywhere I go, I want to be.
Brian says it's like being rootless.
So I have no roots?
To me that feels good.
To constantly be reminded,
you're always right where you're supposed to be.
But that you can also take "home" wherever you go,
or make home, wherever you end up.


Glafcke Family of Seven said...

So glad your family got to enjoy Florida sun and sand! We're heading down in 8 days. Hope you're feeling refreshed and renewed!

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