A patchwork symphony of blues

One weekend this summer, Matt and I flew from Boston to Nantucket.  I happen to love small planes, and flight in general.  I had a new understanding of this latent passion of mine, incidentally, sitting at my grandfather’s funeral a couple of weeks ago.  As we sang the Navy hymn, which we also sang at my maternal grandfather’s funeral, I realized that one of my grandfathers designed airplanes and one was a pilot.  They were both sailors.  I think I come by interest in the air and sea honestly.

For some reason, that late-August flight precipitated a spiritual moment.  I gazed down from the small plane’s window and realized, with unexpected, gasp-of-breath power: This is my life.

I am inside my own life.  This life: terrifying and technicolor, messy and mundane, this string of days full of noise and tears and startling, unexpected beauty.

Perhaps equally as importantly: I love it.  Maybe more importantly.  I love this life.  With a deep sense of serenity that was both unfamiliar and enormously welcome sinking into my bones, I looked out the window of the 8-seater plane at Nantucket Sound and exhaled.  Spread below me were the placid, gray-blue waters I’ve sailed so many times, dotted with dark green foliage-furred and yellow sand-edged slices of land.  This is where I come from, a voice in my head said.  Cape Cod.  Falmouth.  The Elizabeth Islands.  Martha’s Vineyard.  And, ahead, Nantucket.

Memories of each place rolled through me and I had a sensation of disbelief that the vivid film reel I’m watching is not visible to the outside observer.  I exhaled and leaned my head back against the small seat, watching the patchwork symphony of blues beneath me.  I let the feeling of ease spread through me and hoped that I could hold onto it.  I think it was contentment.


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10 Comments

  1. Posted September 20, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Beautiful commentary on noticing and holding on to those brief moments when it all comes together and you are left with the wonderful feeling of ease and contentment. You can draw on these moments when back in “normal” life you are pulled off center. This photo would pull you back to your Truth for sure.

  2. Posted September 20, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    This is where iI come from, too, Lindsey… Barnstable, though, so we’ll have to drop the archrival thing! Thank you. Perfect timing, this reminder.

    XOXO

  3. Carey
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    What a gorgeous blue vision….I’ve had these “this is my life” moments too…of sudden pure awareness, understanding, gratitude…and they are gifts. Thank you for articulating it so beautifully.

  4. Posted September 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I feel like I won the lottery: living in the place I want to live, loving my family, doing work that’s meaningful to me every day. I’m thankful that lottery is winnable, sometimes. And that every once in a while, like you, I can rejoice that I’ve won it, again.

  5. Posted September 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely adore (and admire) your gratefulness, and your ability to stay in the moment.

    Inspiring, lovely post.

  6. Posted September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I know that moment you describe here so eloquently. When many different tangents of life seem momentarily related and suspended. Like an airplane, traveling through the ethers of many moments. xoxo

  7. Haile
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Contentment. If even for just a moment!

    Twilight. Sitting in my kitchen, feeding my youngest in the high chair looking out a screen door past burgers on the grill. His brother and Dad playing in the back yard. Such a simple, even mundane moment. But in that moment I loved my life.

    It’s an anchor I toss out when the seas get rough.

  8. Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Love this. I think I know just the feeling you write about.

    For some reason your words made me think of a quote from Virginia Woolf’s Moments of Being:

    “Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we—I mean all human beings—are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”

  9. Posted September 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Mmmm, this is lovely. I don’t come from a place and I envy this familiarity in some ways. My home, my roots are evermore between the pages of books, doesn’t matter new or old, cream or white. The black dots that for words sitting upon those cool pages are my ancestors—preachers, authors and songwriters. My soul-deep comfort lives there and in motion. Missionaries, travelers and athletes all rejoice inside of me when I am in motion, wind in my hair and words of strength playing in my head.

    Thank you for bringing me home, even through the screen.

  10. Posted September 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    From what I just read I am most certain it was contentment. And I wish you many more moments just the same.

    xo