I’m glad I had that bagel

View from the window seat

[ Transcribed from a paper note pad ] — I’m sitting on a plane in Dallas, Texas. The one hour layover has turned into five, the last four on the tarmac. The body of the S80 shakes from the force of the thunderstorms, lightning in every direction.

I entertain myself reflecting on (almost) two weeks of glorious non-city California kickin back.

[ A cacophony of mobile phones are ringing on the plane, as loved ones call back to get more information about the delay and flight status… So many different rings ]

I examine some Tibetan prayer flags—a gift in parting. I wonder where I will hang them. Some place where wind can carry the good tidings across the countryside. I was getting used to the sound of the wind, birds and occasional motor followed by dogs barking. Reminded me of my home growing up.

More than a couple times I found child-like scale on this trip— looking down a (large) hillside or atop a rock with the rush of the river below. My cautious clamber, keeping a low center of gravity, reaching out to the next toehold or grip, finding purchase in the rocks. The challenge of wanting to get across, posing a degree of personal risk.

I note the scabs on my forearm and palm are almost healed. Bending my long left toe under the seat without complaint. I got pretty far, considering my rusty joints and laptop posture.

My stomach grumbles as the small bag of pretzels just doesn’t cut it as a complete meal. Luckily I was encouraged to take a bagel for breakfast this morning. Seems so distant now as I twist my legs uncomfortably in the airplane seat, looking out the window at all the lightning.

Eventually I will sleep, head leaning to the window, drool collecting in my beard.

I didn’t get to the big swimming hole, just over some menacing boulders. Practice, that’s all. It’ll just take practice and a reach of faith.