It’s early. Before six am. I sit on a small plane holding the hand of my sweet husband, exchanging grins, eagerly anticipating a little getaway as I tag along on his business trip. We have dreamed of this time in our lives for a couple of decades, and here we are. Gaining 37 more coveted degrees of warmth holds no small amount of appeal.
They spray our wings and windows with a slimy substance meant to de-ice our bird’s wings. It makes me hold my lip tightly between my teeth at the thought of that necessary job. Can this slime effectively combat negative 8 degrees worth of ice? Sweet husband reassures me.
Defying natural laws, we are. We challenge them and pray we win. I think of my children back at home, holding down the
igloo house. I wonder if they’d be okay without me and their dad should gravity win. It’s the order of things, I suppose to prepare my mind for the worst. Or perhaps just an old and bad habit. Enter a dose of faith.
Below me little people lead big lives–for now, they are just minuscule folks slumbering in their tiny beds below me. My flight above them goes utterly unnoticed–irrelevant. Soon, they will awaken and become little hurried, snake-like lines of lights. Each journey mattering only to them and those whose paths with which they intersect.
A few tips and leans left and right and a short succession of minutes and we have transversed the mitten state. A few harried hours later we find a magical land of dry roads and happily, decadently, remove our coats.
Turns out travel time and traffic jams tried to eat our little bit of free time. So as the sun thawed our bones we had no choice but to extend our trip by a day. We added a day and some laughter and a wee bit o’ sunshine. Ahhh….
When we left Michigan after a record cold January, we felt like escapees–like we had outsmarted Old Man Winter by wrenching free from his icy grip. Upon returning, all of the members of our plane collectively exclaimed (not a happy noise) when the mass of winter white that awaited us came into view.
Dread settled somewhere in my gut. My fingernails hadn’t even had time to grow long enough to meet the requirements for the nail-biting, wheel-gripping car rides into this arctic loveliness. My skin had barely lost its reptilian patches from the frigid, dry air. I barely had a tinge of pink, if I looked really hard, to prove that the moments of sunshine were not just some lovely daydream.
“This is home,” my sweet husband said.
I try, I really do, to remember that we will, indeed, unbury ourselves in just a matter of weeks. “Soon,” I promise myself. Soon the sun will find its way back and shine again and actually add warmth to its touch, and we will puff ourselves up with state pride for having survived one for the books.
For now, my favorite people await my arrival back at HOME. It’s not about the structure. I felt no joy at seeing the walls that define my home. But it sure will be sweet to greet those faces that hold me dear and remember the warmth of being surrounded by love.
Once again, I remind myself that it’s about perspective and attitude.
Though the sun shone brightly deep in the heart of the state I just enjoyed, here, a different kind of heart–more mitten-like in shape–calls my name.