Archive for December 20th, 2010

The Scenic Route

Monday, December 20th, 2010

We are Home, Sweet, Home after 3 grueling flights from Syracuse to Portland. We left Syracuse uneventfully on Sunday morning and arrived in Philadelphia with little time to spare as we took a shuttle to another terminal and grabbed a sandwich before we boarded our plane to Phoenix.

Then, it all came to a screeching halt as we waited and waited and waited for the plane to take off. Their were a couple of minor equipment repairs, one being a clogged drain in one of the bathrooms. They kept telling us it was a paperwork snafu. At one point, I was on the verge of a panic attack. Steve and I were not seated together so I couldn’t lean on him for comfort. I finally stood up and was able to talk to him in the row opposite. We were an hour late taking off, and we had that sinking feeling that we would not make our connection to Portland.

To add insult to injury, they ran out of meals by the time they got to our row. My half a sandwich did not hold up for the six hours that I was on the plane. I had a protein bar in my purse which got me through, but I was in major meltdown mode by the time we got off the plane in Phoenix. I did get this poor photograph of an exquisite sunset as we flew into Phoenix.

Our choices were to have standby for the later flight to Portland or stay in a hotel and have confirmed seats in the morning. I really wanted to go home. We did not have our luggage, and really, who can make a decision with low blood sugar. After sitting down and eating a chicken Caesar salad and drinking a big glass of wine, my good sense returned and we took the night in the hotel and flew home this morning.

We saw some beautiful scenery as we flew northwest over the mountains. Much of the land was shrouded in clouds, but occasionally we got some terrific views.

I think today is the first day that I have not cried in a few weeks. It has been an emotional roller coaster since Thanksgiving. Who can explain the melancholy that sometimes envelopes us? Whatever it was — angst over my sister’s plight, my struggles with my health or my feeling that I had lost my way artistically. Whatever it was, I think I am moving beyond. The winter solstice arrives tomorrow with the promise of longer days and light returning.

I wanted to share the poem, When I Am Among the Trees, which was read at my brother-in-law’s service.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver ~