(Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love)
You lean forward and look through the steamy little window watching things get smaller and bigger at the same time. Land below and sky above, it becomes clear that there is more happening in life than you pay attention to in the linear, ordinary course of a day.
Then comes the rocking and shaking and shuddering – can this be happening? Just as you gained faith in flight it turns out it can’t be sustained after all. It seems only moments ago you were shown the emergency procedure, and remember absolutely none of it.
You grip the armrests. Imagine crashing to the ground, everything up in flames. Plunging deep into the sea. Contemplate all the things you’ve never done, the things you’ve done and wish you hadn’t – maybe you pray. This is it.
Then a reassuring voice tells you the aircraft is experiencing ‘normal air turbulence’ which will pass shortly, and asks you to please remain seated and safety-belted.
Oh Right! (you’re thinking) You try to breathe slow and deep and sit very very still.
And it does pass. Before you know it ‘turbulence’ is no big deal, after all, flying is safer than driving.
I’m sure you can see where this is heading by now – although possibly this is not a metaphor that truly fits – life can be like that first plane ride.
Thrilling, I say, seemingly impossible; containing moments that make you wonder why you ever got on and others where you can see the whole deal laid out like a blanket.
Actually, the further you travel the more connections are made and others missed entirely causing you to sit a while. Still, knowing its not likely that you’ll end up in the wrong place, even if your baggage goes astray, you stay on the trip.
This week has been one of those weeks – connections made, take-off-thrills and long airless moments which left me like a virgin passenger without a window seat. But there was no getting off – and there was no forgetting that this was a journey that couldn’t be done by car.
I managed to upset a few people and attract the anger and criticism of some more. I had some career breakthroughs via a chance meetings, and was delighted to have an old friend appear from nowhere. A series of small but important assurances – a power bill that was ten times less than I thought it would be, a check in the post from something I overpaid, a rebate from the telephone company that put me on hold so often earlier in the month. These showed me that my way is clear and my ticket is paid.
And came the realisation that there’s no good lying to myself about certain relationships and emotions – just as there’s damage to be done by denying the part I play in creating particular circumstances.
Yeah, there’s fear, ego and error – but at the end of the day I’ve got to believe it was my choice to get on this plane, so its over to the pilot to get me there. Come what may, I’m on it until it lands and have to let the expert in charge handle what I have no control of. Believe.
Love will always find the way home.