Monday, June 10, 2013

On the Airplane

I am sitting in my window seat 35,000 feet above the earth. Somewhere near Montana. I look down at the ground below me. Ground I have never seen before. Flat, gridded, and brown. Man made rivers snake across the patchwork quilt, cutting through the right angles of the fields. As we fly, the flat land gives way to raised mountains. Ripples in the sheets. A thin gauze of cloud covers everything. Light and airy near the plane, but then thickening as it reaches the horizon. The blue sky and the white clouds meet at a straight, crisp line, grayer and darker than the clouds fanning out from it. I look out the window at a world that is silently majestic. Still and beautiful so far below. And my mind is bombarded by only one thought. This is the world my daughter will never get to see. She will never see mountains rise out of the earth like the knuckles of hundreds of buried giants. She will never see the sunlight glistening on the smooth waters of a shimmering lake. She will never know how the color of the sky shifts seamlessly from a bright, white blue into a deeper softness as it expands into space. She will never know this world. And I will always know it without her. The unfairness of a life lost so early lays heavy around me. A weight of palpable sadness. She should be here. She should be able to see this world. She should be able to feel the warmth of the sun and the cool drops of summer rain. There is no reason for her to be gone -but she is. And I can't help but feel that all of this beauty in the world is wasted because she will never see it.
The world below me passes by so slowly. I know, in reality, we are going hundreds of miles an hour, but from my window, it looks like we are creeping at a snail's pace. That's kind of how all of us go through life. We feel that nothing is fast enough. Nothing is ever enough. We think we are creeping through life, when we are actually zooming through it. Our lives are just a blink in this world. This world that has been here for millenniums before us and will be for millenniums after. It doesn't care. We are not as important as we think we are. The only thing important in life is who we share it with. And I can't share it with her. So, what now?  Don't give me a list of all of the people I still have to share my life with.  I know exactly who they are.   If anything, I am more grateful than ever for these people.  I am more grateful than ever for everything I still have.  And I will never take anyone or any aspect of my life for granted ever again.   But, that doesn't make it better.  It's not enough.  She is not here.
She will never be a part of this world with me.   That's a hard pill to swallow, and I choke on it every day.  

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