Day One: The Plane

So I’m off … to my country. Two big sports bags, one carry on, and a bike box full of a partially disassembled ta-pocketa. I sat this morning in the Ramada Inn waiting for the bus that would take me on the two-hour trip to Toronto, and just gazed upon all my stuff.

What will the journey be? And who will I be at its end? Will the twenty of us be a family? Will we be happy together?

As the bus floated over the 401, our local freeway, I got to watch the passing world and other drivers, something I don’t usually get to do. As we overtook semitrailer after semitrailer, I came to love seeing their hands on the wheel. I watched the knuckles and thought of how similar we all are … human beings wanting to have a happy life.

I often slipped into meditation as my eyes closed. The gentle rocking of the bus felt womb-like. I was safely on my way to Canada west and east.

I didn’t have a seatmate and so didn’t talk to anyone on the trip. This felt strange since I’m usually bending somebody’s ear. But a different way is fine too.

As we approached Toronto Airport, I wondered how I would haul around my heavy objects. Happily, a row of luggage carts appeared as we stopped. Even the bike box was well accommodated.

I lined up in the wrong place but a smiling woman pointed me towards the promised land. Stuff like that doesn’t phase me anymore – imperfect moi sometimes stumbles towards the finish line. And that’s okay.

After the normal stuff, it was time to deal with the bike box. It wouldn’t go through the scanner so the agent opened it up, removing the saddle and pannier for closer inspection. A big delay here but so what? Time proceeds according to its own agenda and my wishes for convenience don’t move it much. Finally the employee was finished and lent me some packing tape to reseal things. He became angry that I was using so much of his tape but I wanted to thoroughly secure my dear bike. I’d like to say that I stayed perfectly calm during his angst but that’s not true. No perfect person here. Oh well.

Going through security was a breeze until the officer came upon sunscreen and my chain oil. They should have been in my checked luggage. Oops. I was told that if I wanted the liquids, I’d have to check my carry on, at a probable cost of $100. Ouch. I pleaded my case to the supervisor and she magically checked my bag for free. O, great karma awaiteth you, dear lady.

All this is marvelous, of course, as life continues to unfold in its magical ways, but the best was yet to come. I’ve been taking a live online course on relationships, with people participating from around the world. There was a one-hour session scheduled for Noon today but I’d be in the departure lounge then. I told myself I wasn’t going to be holding my Samsung phone aloft, listening to folks through earbuds, and talking out loud to my international companions while surrounded by fellow travellers.

After passing through security, however, and walking down the long hall to Gate B4, the voice inside said “Just do it. You have more than an hour before boarding. Find a quiet spot and be with people on your screen.” So I did. The walls of restriction came tumbling down. The few folks near me didn’t seem bothered in the least. And we across the world shared a sweet presence together.

Now I’m on the plane, perhaps nearing Winnipeg, sitting beside two friendly women from Alabama who are jetting towards an Alaskan cruise. Good for them and good for me. May each of us dip ourselves deeply into adventure.

That’s enough for now. Happy landings to me.

2 thoughts on “Day One: The Plane

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