Up in the Air

I suppose this is what a groundhog feels like; coming up for air, every so often, out of her subterranean labyrinth, out of hibernation, to see what the rest of the world is up to.

Which is what I managed to do today. Not only did I emerge from my underground holding pattern, but I went from below earth to high above it in less than two hours. Yes, I flew. It might have only been a short-haul flight, and in some ways it was disorienting, but I soared nonetheless.

And thanks to the kindness, conversation and comical distraction of the flight attendant par excellence!, I managed to carry myself through another set of long-duration sittings (take-off, landings and unduly long wait-times in between). We talked about many things – anything but health, sickness, injury and surgery. We spoke about travel and food, flights and stopovers, shopping and teenagers. I intentionally steered clear of all subjects that I deemed taboo at cloud level.

High above the earth, I briefly felt like I’d escaped a laboratory of nightmares, leaving those experiments behind, rendering them invisible or, better yet, gone. There was something so ethereal and other-worldly, so impossibly light, hopeful and surreal about the flight, about being ensconced in a tiny floating vehicle up in the air and managing to keep the bad dreams at bay.

Then we touched down, hitting the earth with a little plane’s I Think I Can kind-of-thud. The bumps pained my tush, the announcements brought me back to reality, and the glass panes of the airport, always and everywhere showed my reflection, as if to remind me: I breathed differently up there, and I gratefully, if only fleetingly, blocked out what has been burying me (us) knee- and, sometimes, shoulder-deep in mulch and muck.

Ah, but such is life; the ups, deep downs and all the rest that lies in between.

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