On Familiar Ground

It was the day after my birthday. I was still floating, as if on a planet out of this world.

A few hours on Skype with my entire family – who live in three different cities – brought me back down to earth. At least for awhile.

My parents first. Trying to catch up on their many comings and goings, out-of-town visitors, hosting events for yet another group of travelers, plans for upcoming holidays, exercise routines, doctor check-ups – parallel conversations taking place in the background, kitchen tap running, who knows what else was going on.. and this was early on a Sunday morning. Feeling blessed they are so busy that they, almost more than I, had to get off the phone to tend to the day’s affairs.

Then my younger sister, with her fresh-faced grade school children clambering all over her, elbowing each other for the best seat. Making silly faces into the webcam, showing off teeth and tie-dyed shirt, exhibiting the summer’s art painting canvases, performing the latest magic trick (oh, and this is how you do it!) Then I discovered a birthday video they’d sent; with hearts hovering around their heads:  Such full frontal deliciosity on the other side of the world.

My older sister and niece, fuzzy images notwithstanding, still lazying about in bed, groggy-sounding, distant-looking: oh, the magic and joys of a connection… Stories about school beginnings, orchestra continuations, party celebrations. Checking in about health status, dental status, did-I-get-the-package-from-them status. So little time, such vast time difference, so much to discuss. So close, almost close enough to touch, yet many lengthy plane rides away.

What to do. Practice gratitude for what is.

After the trio of Skype-calls, I fell back on my bed, breathed deeply and felt peaceful. I tried to conjure up an image to reflect my state of mind, and I came up with this: A lunar landing, each of the spaceship’s four legs touching down (one at a time) to find solid ground – despite its extraterrestrial adventure.

ET, you’re home.

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