Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Night Thoughts from a Continental Express Jet

“Did you see the city as we were landing?”

My family had just sit down to a lovely McDonald’s dinner at the Newark, NJ airport. The tension was thick as the five of us had just spent almost a week in close company. The day had not been easy either. We had spent approximately six hours at the Detroit airport this morning getting run around and missing flights. But we were now safely on our way home with no more hassles in sight. Perhaps things would now go relatively smooth.

I told my brother, the asker of the aforementioned question, that I had not seen Newark as we were landing. He said that it was like the city was on fire; the lights were beautiful.

He said he liked flying at night. I disagreed. I would much rather have been home by six pm rather than in New Jersey! I was tired. (and I missed Mike)

But now I’m high above the earth. And Leo was right—the lights are beautiful. I was reading Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz when we were taxiing (which took about fourty minutes!) but when we took off, I took one look outside my window and couldn’t look away. I turned off my bright overhead light and stared in awe.

(At the moment, my head feels like there is no gravity, though my body knows that there is. It is making me slightly dizzy!)

I love tiny (a.k.a. sooo cute!) things and so I watched with childlike glee as the city got smaller and smaller. It was all in miniature. And now it looks as though God had thrown down a sprinkling of glittery dust over the land.

The lighted grids that are neighborhood streets…
The meandering ropes of light that are interstate highways…
The lights that get closer and brighter until they come together in a harmonious luminous explosion…

As I get higher and higher the lights get dimmer and dimmer. I can no longer distinguish one building from the next—though I can see some sort of sports stadium right now!

I cannot wait to get home and into my own bed in my own apartment.

My family has had a little too much “together time.” It has been a long day and we’re all a little irritated I’m sure. Is it bad that I’m really happy that Mike is picking me up so I can go straight home? Speaking of Mike, my computer says that it’s 9:09 pm. I think I told Mike the wrong time to pick us up. Or our delay was longer than planned. Either way, I think he’ll have a little bit of wait time. Ooops. I wish I could call him, but you can’t exactly do that on an airplane.

The purpose of this trip was to go to my grandmother’s funeral; which was an awkward event for me. I had never really had anyone close to me die before. I’ve only ever been to two funerals (my grammy’s (a.k.a. great-grandmother’s) and an old friend of my parents).

My grandma had a fondness for firefighters—my Uncle Jeff is a firefighter and Grandma’s pride runs deep. So, it was very apt that the fire chief’s car blocked off the road so the procession could make its way out of the church parking lot and follow the fire truck, ambulance, and hearse to the gravesite.

All that fuss and all those lights—surely, Grandma was up in heaven happy with her farewell.


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