A conversation from earlier that day, after an exchange of hugs before I headed into the subway, plucked at my neurons. I professed my unease with flying; she countered by explaining she reveled in it. For someone who'd traveled across the country by train not once but twice rather than fly, developing a time-constrained life had been a hard change to make. Today, though, I knew my way around my home airport like the back of my hand. I knew the approach patterns we might fly, what fun things to look for on each, and where I'd wind up taxiing to my gate from.
I replayed the last three trips, six legs, in my head. The unexpected jaunt to Nashville brought with it a stunning sunrise over the eastern part of the city, one which reminded me that I had failed to enjoy the approaching light of morning for too long. The journey back brought some stress, but I was able to have some fun before heading off to my volunteer gig. A month later, the trip to Austin was one of excitement for the people I planned to meet and the conference I'd be attending, while the return was rather more melancholy. This time, the anticipation that came with the departure for Boston was easily eclipsed by the warmth in my heart as my Pittsburgh-native pilot steered us toward his home.
My life had become undeniably complicated over the preceding half-year, but as I looked down at the inky blackness I took on faith to be the upper Delaware River valley, I found myself yearning for the trips that seemed likely to follow amongst those four endpoints in the ensuing months.