Monday, March 4, 2013

Flying at Night

Part of me wonders why I am awake.  After all, I spent half the night in the clutch of the airline-industrial complex, making my way from Virginia back to Florida.  That sounds more dire than it was.  Unlike the last time I flew, I had easy trips last night:  exit row seats with room to stretch my legs!

I also sat by the window, and the view enchanted me.  For most of the trip, I had a clear view of the earth below.  I loved seeing all the twinkling lights.  It was like reverse astronomy; instead of stars sparkling above us, I looked down on all sorts of constellations.

In places, parts of the ground were obscured by a dense comforter of clouds, while some of the civilizations still shone forth.  In some places, instead of sparkly stars, the lights resembled a lacy web or clusters of silver and gold beads.

As we flew into Atlanta, I saw a baseball diamond, all lit up.  I had a momentary disconnect:  what season is it?  Have I missed Spring and somehow launched myself into Summer?  And then I thought about all the winter storm systems that moved across the region during the week-end and the system that is coming:  who is playing baseball in this brutal cold?

As we approached the airport, I also saw the "Fly Delta Jets" sign lit up against the darkness.  I thought about how often I've been seeing this sign.  I assume it existed when I was a little girl.  We didn't take many airline trips, but we did live in the Southeast, so I feel safe in assuming that on our few trips, we went through Atlanta.  Likewise, when I was in college and flew home for the holidays, I often went through Atlanta.  And as I flew back to visit my grandmother, after we'd moved to South Florida, the sign always felt like a Welcome Back sign.

In September I had a similar experience as I looked for the Adluh Flour sign on the side of a building in Columbia, South Carolina.  Yep, there it was.  That building hadn't been torn down!

I had a great week-end leading a retreat and leading a poetry workshop in the northern Virginia region--plus, I got to see my family.  It was a whirlwind trip though.  I have that feeling that I sometimes have after that kind of week-end.  I feel like I need to sit here quietly and wait for all the parts of myself to catch back up with me.  I'm also aware of all the Spring events that will come zinging my way in the next 2 months, plus the writing projects that are coming due.

But there is time.  There is time to savor a cup of coffee in this strange cold that has found its way down the peninsula of Florida.  There is time to write a poem so that I can get back on track with my poem-a-day Lenten discipline.  There is time to make a quick trip to my neighborhood Doris' Italian Market to buy the ingredients for the pot of chili that my spouse will make.  There is time to unpack from this trip, before it's time to pack for the next.

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