Suspended Animation in Cleveland: Everyday Magic, Days 217-218

Cleveland, nothing against you, but I don’t really know you, and sitting in this airport for hours isn’t helping the matter.  I’ve watched the little chain restaurants and bookstores roll down their doors and lock their gates while I’ve surfed weather, road conditions and Continental Airline sites in the quest for home: Will a plane arrive here to take those of us sitting patiently at gate C29 home? Will the wild and big snow falling in Kansas City prevent us from landing safely? Once landed, will Ken be able to drive safely on snow-packed roads to get me or is a surrealistic night in an airport motel my destiny?

This whole travel twirl began fast and by surprise. I woke this morning thinking, “Sure would be nice to go home today instead of tomorrow, and I bet I could pack my suitcase in 10 minutes.” This wasn’t because I don’t love my job, fellow faculty and students but simply because of homesickness. I walked to the community building to meet with students, only to have sudden slips of paper delivered to me: our residency — which was to end tomorrow after meetings, workshops, and our cabaret — was ending today because a large snow storm was racing toward Vermont. In 16 years of teaching at Goddard, this was a first for me, and after my meeting with students and 40 minutes on the phone with a lovely airline representative named Lauren, who is now my new best friend, I was booked to fly out today.

Fast forward to ten hours later: It’s 10:55 p.m., and my plane was delayed three hours because of a technical glitch. Behind me in Vermont, snow. Ahead of me in Missouri and Kansas, snow. Between it all is here and now, watching weary travelers disembark the tiny plane I’m about to board, wishing above all else, for safety for all and somewhere at the end of this rainbow of snow, a good night’s sleep, maybe even (I hope) in my own sweet bed.