In Flight

Four days ago, I was on a train leaving the beach.

Three days ago, I was on a late flight home from DC.

Yesterday I worked a 13 hour day.

By the time I got home last night, I had 3.5 hours before I needed to leave for the airport.
I had not showered, packed, eaten or slept.

I decided sleep was most important.

Fast-food, a quick shower (no makeup or hair), and a terrible packing job filled my pre-flight hour.

Sidebar: on my last flight, I broke the cardinal rule of air travel, and threw a full-size bottle of shampoo into my bag. No ziplock bag/barrier. So of course when I arrived, everything inside my bag was coated in shampoo. I did laundry (for the second time in less than 24 hours), but forgot to clean out my suitcase. That was my perfect New York bag. Dark grey, small, hard-side, telescopic handle and four wheels. So now I am left with a large, black (nondescript), soft-side, 2-wheel bag. Maneuvering the streets of NYC will be a treat!

Anyway…

Alarm goes off at 2:30 am. Run late, and arrive at the airport just in time to stand in a mega-long security line.

5:40 a.m.:  My claustrophobia and I are packed inside a tube with 150 strangers on a full flight to New York.

Now…
Does that sound like bitching? Moaning? Complaining?

Because it’s not.

Did I mention I’m on a plane?

I have my same window seat… right side, toward the back. I’m holding my tiny plastic cup of coffee (okay, Bailey’s) and gazing down at the world below.

There’s something so special, almost sacred, about flying. I feel as if I’ve been allowed inside the VIP area of the planet.

I want to sleep. NEED to sleep. But I’m transfixed. The sky turned from night to day in spectacular fashion. The weather below was rainy. Above, it’s sunny. The different shades of blue make me wish I was an artist. But then I think I would be frustrated trying (but failing) to capture the beautiful variations.

I take countless pictures, trying to do it justice.

The clouds change shape and rise and fall and it is magic. There is a break in them large enough to glimpse a ribbon of water, snaking it’s way through a valley. Hovering above them is a layer of fog just thick enough to hide the faeries that are surely dancing in the damp morning air. The clouds thin out and the mist dissipates. Now the water shimmers with handfuls of diamonds.

Ahead, clouds rise like mountains. As we get closer, a rainbow appears below, connecting earth to sky. It’s the type of rainbow I used to draw as a child.

Closer still, and the familiar *ding* of the seatbelt light warns of turbulence.

I have already dropped my cup (still full of ice) as well as the lid off my water bottle. I am hopeless.

I slip my earphones on and a Led Zeppelin song replaces the loud conversation of an over-caffeinated businessman two rows in front of me.

I realize that I probably should have peed.

The turbulence rocks me to sleep. I am light as a feather. Stress free. Headed back to New York and happy as a spirit.

Now is the time for dreams.