As I sit here and write this I am flying high above the clouds, on my way home to Toronto after a wonderful weekend spent in the South.
I’m a firm believer that sometimes in order to remember why you love a place, you have to leave it. Even if you leave for just a short time, for the good of your heart, and your mind and your soul, for the good of your story you need to go. As I look out the window and see the moon shine on the clouds beneath me, and every now and again catch a glimpse of the land below, I am reminded that I am so small and insignificant. Yet here I am surrounded by gifts, starting with the very blood that runs through my veins and gives me life.
Airports are one of my most favourite places. I know, I’m weird. People from all over the world in one place, everyone on the go with some place to be. I sit and I watch them. I wonder about their lives. Where do they come from? Why do they dress like that? What is their story? Why does she look so sad? Why is that man wearing a dress? I listen to the accents, to the languages, I hear them talk on their cell phones and wonder where their homes are? The men and women in uniform walk past and I look in their eyes. I can’t help but wonder where they will serve and if one day they will give their life for their country? Are they afraid? All of a sudden I can find myself sitting beside someone from across the world and if only for a 2 hour flight, isn’t is strange that our stories will collide for such a small amount of time, probably never to intersect again? There is no other place like an airport.
I blink and I’m in another country, and it seems like another world. I’ve been here many times before but it always feels different. The culture is not what I know and yet I’ve seen it in the movies. I’m shocked that the portrayal isn’t that far off. And as I’m swept into the south, I am also swept into the presence of people that I love so dearly. And for one weekend we laugh and cry and watch hours of Dr. Quinn Medicine woman. I spend hours holding the most precious baby that I’ve ever laid eyes on. I shower him with kisses and hugs and whispers of “I love you”. We make fun of each other’s accents, we reminisce about times past, memories that feel like they were just yesterday and at the same time seem so far away. We celebrate new life and the heartaches that have brought us to this place. We aren’t who we used to be. Time has made us deeper, scarred us in a way but if we could, would we choose to go back?
At the end of the day, I lie in bed and check my phone. I read updates of home. I think about my life there and my present reality, they are so different. My heart can’t help but feel overwhelmed with thankfuls. How can I be so blessed? Why me? I have been showered with gifts and so easily I forget them. I’m sorry. Illuminate my sight; I don’t want to miss what is all around me.
The moon is beautiful tonight. I’m closer to it up here but it still seems so far away. Where did this weekend go? I blink and I’m in another country and it is indeed another world. This is why I love to travel. This is why I love the rush and the hustle and bustle and newness of a different place.
Because sometimes you have to leave to remember what you have.
Sometimes the money that it takes to get you there just doesn’t matter, because your soul needs those people, needs that place, needs to know what it’s like to come back. Sometimes your eyes need to see the moon from the other side of the clouds. We need to “awe”, we need to “wonder” and be overwhelmed with our own smallness.
Sometimes leaving isn’t just about going; it’s about opening yourself up to the God of the universe who is bigger than we can comprehend. It’s about letting Him amaze us. It’s about letting Him make us feel small, so we remember how big He is.
So, maybe you need to leave, even for a short while, so you can remember the things you don’t even realize you’ve forgotten.
And the funny thing is, sometimes the leaving makes the staying all the more richer.
The Kindred Spirit