The wheels in motion – or some moments not – long before this stormy day. The bookend to the left eighteen months prior being set into place. Actually, in the way that I know orchestration takes place long before encounters do, I’m quite certain even longer was a plan that what occurred was meant to.
In certain moments when I feel that the ground below me wants to shake, I will focus on the next step only so that I don’t let my mind run a doubtful race. Step One I will whisper to myself as I focus on the next immediate goal I desire to reach. Once I have arrived at step one, then intention for step two becomes my inner speech.
Perhaps I was already anticipating Mother Nature’s desire to clap her hands and cry. When I read text me if you have any travel interruptions I made sure that cell number was nearby. I started to feel the earth shifting when the clock moved past my departure goal to reach the airport on time. Ah, yes, and in that moment would begin the theme of my day – time has its own mind. Choice and the purpose in life’s ebbs for something so much greater were about to be reinforced for me. And that so much greater the gift I would receive.
Step One I began as the tarmac held our plane in place. We apologize everyone, but our priority is to keep you safe. A rain storm setting into motion that to the destination airport there would be a delay. A step many steps after One had a defined goal to achieve; arriving by 4:00 p.m. for a class commitment was a necessity. Yet, Step One I repeated as I felt my feet firmly stand on the Earth, metaphorically. Plenty of time to make my final destination I breathed.
Okay, Step One check and now Step Two is reach the departure gate. Misinformed monitor screens, misguided directions, rapid running, missed plane all part of fate. Redefine Step Two by determining Plan B. Even better, an earlier arrival time now – good thing I had not focused hard on the original Step Thirteen. If I had been so attached to that I might not have allowed the space for other opportunities. The gift of missing a connection handed to me.
Step Three to reach the next layover knowing running was in the plan to achieve Step Four. Sometimes it requires that as we stand at the current step, we also turn the handle to begin opening next step’s door. Hello my friend the tarmac, once again keeping us in your safe embrace. Mother Nature the intervention that the remaining dominoes fall into place. Step Three check and blessings, no need to run manically. Landing at the same time my next plane is taking off – without me – is another opportunity. (It’s all in how we choose to see; that grace of life in how it flows with us – or against – if we choose to see differently.)
Okay, Step Four, let’s find your new Plan B, or perhaps I should advance to Plan C. I do believe I’m getting a little dizzy. Ah, the steps are going up and not just a footpath to take. Not reaching my required time looks to be my fate. A different airport, a rental car, drive time, and arriving near the end of class verses the start my reality. But, at least I WILL reach my ultimate destiny. Step Four, at least we arrive to be part of the full three days; don’t focus on how your original step thirteen has slipped away.
When we make a choice to stay with positivity, we keep our reception open to other possibilities. Moments later a dear friend texts me with Plan D. Change airlines and arrive “on-time” for my priority. As I advance to Step Five – it “just” seemed cleaner to not re-write Step Four – I am listening. I have just learned through these last few hours that it isn’t always about upstream and downstream. Often, I think let go of the oars when it seems everything is a furious paddle upstream to reach a goal. I will then look and listen if perhaps a different direction I am meant to go. This time I wasn’t hearing maybe this trip isn’t meant to be. This time I heard when you believe in something so strongly, you fight for what you desire to achieve personally.
Step Five, land “on-time” and Step Six, to baggage claim. For my luggage was still heading to Step Four on a different airline and different plane. Step Five oh, I am so glad to see you – let me give you a big hug. Okay, let’s go to Step Six and then Step Seven, my dear friend awaits us in her truck. Oh, but the gifts weren’t over – their unwrapping I would need to wait. First, I needed to be part of a pin ball machine game. Pull back on that little mechanism that strikes the ball in the machine, and wa-la, between two airlines you could find me bouncing and pinging. Step Six, here, here’s my prayer I leave with you; I need clothes by the next morning so I trust what solution you can come to. Step Seven, oh, my friend with her beautiful smile and joyful spirit how good to see you. On to Step Eight, my many many thank yous.
Step Eight “on-time” and during a break to check on Step Thirteen, which meant that my luggage would be at the hotel with me. How fortunate my luggage to visit airports I have not yet went to. A journey through two airports on yet a third airline it would get the chance to do. Step twelve drive to the airport to pick up my luggage at 11:48 p.m. when the plane was due to arrive. My dear friend willing to be part of this step by getting me to the airport “on-time”.
Step Eleven, I see the gift you have just set in front of me. Ok, I will wait just a tad more before I start pulling on the ribbon and begin opening. But, already I think what is inside is beautiful and I already feel immense gratitude that this gift is mine. Ok, patience, but I’m going to rest my forehead on the top of this package if you don’t mind. The plan delayed to 2:40 a.m. sets in motion an adventure similar to a slumber party filled with giggles and no sleep. At 2:00 a.m. that joyful spirit and my good morning meet. In that same truck we now head back to the airport awaiting the carousel’s bell announcing bags are about to come down the shoot to our feet. Step Thirteen, happy dance happy skip happy hug my friend for her part in this one wild and crazy journey.
Back at the hotel I gently pull at the ribbon wrapping this reverent gift in front of me. Then each side of the wrapping paper I start unfolding delicately. I open the box and look inside and I am in awe at what I find. The intricate weave, the lean, the left and the right. And in the middle the breathtaking flow from the start to an end goal that is in both our sights. Individual yet collective we have traveled to here, leaning and intertwining without consciously knowing that we were. She graciously feeling inspired by me along our in between travels while I equally inspired by her. Grateful that the bookend to the left was the catalyst for us at 3:00 a.m. where the bookend to the right has now firmly rooted in place despite or because of a stormy day. A friend to travel life’s journey with grounded in place.
Step Fourteen, as I close my eyes, thank you for Mother’s Nature’s clapping and tears that deepened my view of the gift I have by my side.