No matter how many times I fly, I’m still blown away by the magic of eating a chocolate chip scone and iced coffee for breakfast with pals in Vermont, and then having pizza for dinner with Ken at Papa Keno’s in Kansas, trying to hear each other over the roar of the cicadas.
In between were hours, crowds, hot flashes, moving sidewalks, and rushes toward food courts that seemed too rushed only to rush two other directions and end up right where I started. There’s a whole lot about air travel that is polar opposite of magic (particularly when flying through O’Hare), especially when the lines through security are long and the one open seat at the gate is either arctic or tropic in temperature. There’s also a lot of aiming myself with a heavy backpack, full purse, and loaded-to-capacity carry-on suitcase to catch a flight, only to have to keep pausing for people who seem to step into the busiest part of the travel flow and just stand there.
Despite all the little glitches — what many would call first world problems (Oh, no! They forgot to give me a plastic fork with my salad!) — magic prevails. I drift in and out of consciousness on the plane, re-enacting our faculty’s dryland sychronized swimming performance the night before or wondering if my students found their way to the west coast or are napping in airports strewn up and down the east coast. I glance through People magazine and today, someone’s magazine in Italian about home decor. I ride enveloped in the forward-motion hum-roar of the plane, letting myself relax into being aimed across hundreds of miles in short time.
Then the wheels touch down, time wheels over, and the next thing I know, I’m talking animatedly with my husband as we drive from the airport, the morning behind and evening ahead bracketing whatever mechanics, human exertion and resources propelled me through the chute from one place to another. I woke in a dorm room over 1,400 miles away, and now I’m typing in our bedroom between two snoring dogs and my sleeping husband. Worlds overlap, and I’m grateful to get to here to there safely and with relative ease.
Photos from the plane today while flying over Lake Michigan to land in Chicago.