Thursday, July 12, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Beautiful Hassle

Air travel is a hassle. Playing Tetris with everything you want to put in your suitcase. Getting up at ridiculous a.m. hours to get to the airport in the required time frame. Winding your way through security. Laptop out. Boarding pass out. Shoes off. Pat down.

You sit on a modestly comfortable lounge chair with your coffee. You are attached to your carry-on bags, which means sliding them into tiny washroom stalls, hoping all zips are closed and no straps are dangling.

You haul your belongings onto the plane, crawling over other passengers so you can squish yourself into your seat.

The flight is delayed, they need to de-ice the plane.

The smell of airplane, the nauseated feeling when the plane tips and your inner ear does not. Wet wipes for table trays, and trying to drink water without turbulence sloshing it all over you. Your ears pop.

The passenger in front of you has gas, the one beside you has mild BO. The person directly behind you just sneezed.

You land and wait to deplane--"we're just waiting on the ground crew"--and you notice that your connecting flight starts boarding in ten minutes. You race between terminals with your belongings, vaguely aware of the sweat forming under your clothing. Do I still have time to grab a Timmy's?

Yup, air travel is a hassle.

And air travel is beautiful.

Upon take off, this giant metal tube with hundreds of people inside defies gravity as cars, trees, and buildings get smaller. Despite all we have created and discovered--smart phones, space stations, cures for disease--there is something about good ol' fashioned air travel that reminds me of the power of human innovation. I am in awe.

Simultaneously, I am humbled. In my day-to-day activities, I am aware that I take up physical space. I am a driver on the road, a voice at team meetings, a being with agency and influence. In the air, I am a speck. We are all specks. This world was here before us and it will be here after we are buried beneath it or scattered across it. The world keeps moving along, whether I am down in the thick of it or flying above it.

I always try to get a window seat.* This is partially to reduce the potential for motion sickness, but mostly for the view. Because, the view. It is gorgeous and breathtaking and life-giving all at once.

As we move over the land, a sense of wonder takes over. Patchwork quilts of prairie fields go on forever; trees and rivers ribbon together; small flecks of white are sprinkled across the deepest blue ocean. We float above clouds that I swear I could hold in my hands.

Eventually we begin the descent. We glide parallel to mountain peaks in the distance. We drop through the clouds and circle around to orient the plane towards the runway. A calm lake below reflects the light so perfectly that I am seeing the sky with its cotton-ball clouds on the ground. The evening sun glints off vehicles below, and the city ripples with a glittery sparkle.

I take in a new landscape. That is quite the freeway interchange; wow, the water really is that blue. I am reconnected to the places I know. I'm pretty sure that's that street; oh yes, because over there is that building.

The harvest moon comes up as the wheels touch down, and a symphony of seat belts un-click. I'm about to start a new adventure, or throw myself into my favourite people, or collapse into that familiar bed.

It is all a hassle.
And it is all beautiful.
And I will take it every time.

* Current success rate: about 90%.

SOTC 286/365

Hand-held macro work at the butterfly house; I am proud to say I actually had several options for this SOTC shot. Mad macro skills that day, I tell you.

Butterfly in the Sun II (SOTC 286/365)

SOTC 285/365

Canadian Vegas; I was warned.

Canadian Vegas I (SOTC 285/365)

SOTC 284/365

Snail Friends (SOTC 284/365)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

SOTC 283/365

I love when the geese come back.
And then let me get within two feet of them.

Curvy Goose (SOTC 283/365)