Scar Tissues

Today as I sat on my flight, I looked out the window and saw a different New York Skyline.

Fog had taken over the city this morning. With the possibility of seeing The Nutcracker performed at Lincoln Center (excellent seats) and the Messiah performed at Carnegie Hall (my Aunt Wendy singing… something I have yet to see), I half-hoped my flight would be canceled. It’s no secret how much I love this city.

As the taxi carried me across Manhattan and over the Queensboro Bridge, all I could see was the bottom half of buildings. The top halves were hidden in the clouds. I craned my neck by the window, desperate to see their tops.

I arrived at the airport. No lines. New, comfortable terminal. Friendly holiday-adorned employees. And an on-time flight. In another world, this would be a good thing.

I grabbed a breakfast sandwich and paid for the police officer’s coffee behind me for a bit of good-flight karma.

I boarded the plane and settled in. As the aircraft began to taxi, I looked across the now-familiar tarmac, expecting to see the lower half of Manhattan.

What I saw was the opposite. The lower city I had just driven across was now completely obscured by fog. But the tops of all the buildings… MY buildings… were clearly visible above. They rose above the clouds, and it felt like a promise.

Without warning, I burst into tears. I think I may have frightened the woman sitting next to me. I grabbed my extra Au Bon Pain napkin and tried to fix the mess that was my face. But the sobbing continued until we were airborne.

I ordered a drink, then reclined and put on my headphones, pushing “play” on my favorite playlist. I took a deep breath, and then I felt it.

Long ago, my heart was broken in two. It should have killed me. But instead, it healed. But not on its own. The people in my life who helped heal it are embedded in the scar that holds it together.

Every now and then, I feel a pull on that scar. Stretching it just enough to let some emotion out. And sometimes it hurts.

But those people holding it together are stronger than any pain I can ever feel. They are my home. My gravity. My center.

Instead of reaching for the sad little napkin, I decided to use scar tissues for my tears.

All is right with my world.