April 19, 2010
As I bend over and untie my pink shoes I smile to myself. How many times have I told myself not to wear converses through airport security, and here I am again. Yet I am relaxed, falling into the comforting routine of security checks: empty the pockets, take out the laptop and liquids, unlace the shoes. My suitcase has a faded tag wrapped around the handle, a forlorn and bedraggled reminder of my last flight. My flight is delayed, but no surprise there. I’m in no hurry- besides there is always the potential for a free hotel courtesy of my airline.
Like no other place I know, airports stir up a strange sense of nostalgia and slight melancholy in me. I am travelling again, off to new adventures. Where have I been this past school year? Nairobi. London. Philly. Columbus. Washington D.C. Sacramento. Milwaukee. Birmingham. Las Vegas. Chicago. Raleigh. Of course there’s also the layovers but I suppose that does not really count.
I love airports. Dads holding their sleepy kids, the ever-courteous airline representatives with tight smiles, the well-dressed travellers browsing news-stands, and the smell of pretzels and coffee. I know what I’m doing here and where I’m going and something about that is very re-assuring. I think the feeling of restlessness inside me settles down in this familiar environment of coming and going.
I wonder how many hours I’ve spent trying to fall asleep in those uncomfortable airport chairs. How much time have I spent wandering up and down the terminals in Heathrow pulling my carry-on behind me? How many bags have I packed, carefully arranging the zip-lock bags of liquids and the stack of neatly-folded clothing? How many times have I stood on the curb with my back to the ever-sliding and revolving glass doors watching my life change yet again?
They’re calling my connecting flight, time to go… again.
April 9, 2010
A friend recently pointed out to me that I spell “dilemma” as “dilemna” and informed me that this was incorrect. Of course I was indignant about the whole thing because as far as I know that’s how I’ve always spelled it. In fact, as far as I know, it’s the right way to spell it. I was beginning to think she was an “inconsinderate” jerk.
I googled it and found out that I’m not the only one to spell dilemna this way, but those of us who do are definitely a minority. The funny thing is that no one seems to know where this anomaly came from. Some have suggested that it’s from a similarity to words like “solemn” or maybe just an error in a spelling book that got taught to thousands of people.
My, my. Very odd. So: how do YOU spell it?
April 8, 2010
This afternoon Katie called me up to announce that she had started tracing our family tree online and had worked her way backwards to France in the 1600s. I could hardly wait to get to a computer.
It is amazingly addicting to sit down and begin travelling through the family heritage. I feel like I need a machete to whack my way through all the census data, military records, and government information, but it is kind of fun.
I keep wondering, though, who were these people? Why did they come to America? What stories did they tell? What made them laugh?
These relatives of mine lived through time periods that I only read about in my history classes. But that’s what history is, it’s just ordinary people living their lives.
It makes you think…
April 4, 2010
Growing up, we used to work our way through the weeks leading up to Easter by following a banner and a series of lessons called “The Road to Calvary.”
On the back of the banner was the picture of an empty tomb framed by green lettering that announced: “He is Risen!” The rule was that on Sunday morning whoever got up first could flip the banner over. Not that I was competitive or anything, but I was always determined to wake up earliest. There was something very satisfying about creaking down the stairs in the early morning and beating my brothers to it.
I guess I was thinking about that tonight, how I used to anticipate this tradition and how all over the world Christians are anticipating tomorrow morning- some of us looking forward to that “very early in the morning” time.
And then I thought about the disciples and Mary and the other women. They certainly weren’t anticipating anything special that morning. I wonder how they felt as they walked toward the tomb. Grieving. Heartbroken. Weary to their very souls.
And then Jesus himself standing there.
Wow. It must have been the most incredible moment of their lives.
I love that I know the ending. That tonight I can climb into bed and set my alarm clock and know once again my Savior is alive.
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?