"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Monday, June 18, 2012

In the Airport

We are on our way! Our dear friend Daune drove us here a bit ago. We sailed through the check-in process and security. The plane is due to take off just a few minutes into tomorrow. We are going to Belize. I am in awe of the fact that I get to say that.

After months of planning and reading and deciding - every conversation since Christmas has been Belize related in some way - in just a few hours all our imaginings will become reality.

This morning I found myself wondering why I ever thought Belize was such a great idea. The weather report shows nothing but rain for the foreseeable future. We started taking our anti-malaria pills yesterday - big honkin' things with all kinds of warnings to go with. I packed insect repellant, sunscreen and three different medications for the stomach bugs we're hoping with some fervor to avoid.

Then Walt reminded me that if we had stayed with our original plan to celebrate 25 years of marriage and (for me) 60 years on the planet in Hawaii, I would be feeling like something was missing. And he was right.

One thing about living as long as I have is that I've had some experience with the difference between expectations and reality. With all of our reading and internet searching, we've developed some pretty strong pictures of what to expect in Belize. I anticipate (in addition to a lot of rain) a multitude of birds, gorgeous and mysterious Mayan ruins, a whole new shade of water blue to add to my life list. I hope that magic will happen, that Walt and I will grow closer, that I still have the capacity to view an adventure like this through eyes of wonder - no matter how many mosquitoes there are.

I know that the reality will be different in ways I can't possibly anticipate. And that's the joy of this thing called travel. The lack of control. The blasting out of comfort and routine. An experience of the world as a place of be savored, treasured, marveled at. Surprise at every turn.

One to the things I'm looking forward to the most is that I'm going to see toucans. My first awareness of these birds with impossibly large bills is from childhood cereal boxes. For a long time I don't think I even considered that there was a real bird that looked like that flying around the world somewhere. My ten year old self is very excited to meet that reality.

It's almost 10:30 P.M., but this gate is buzzing. A large group of high school kids just swarmed in, accompanied by a tired looking teacher who warned them to find seats quietly so they didn't bother the people around them. They're chattering quietly around us, most plugged into electronic devices of some sort. It's a lovely energy.

I'm up way past my bedtime. A bedtime that won't be happening tonight unless I can doze on the three hour flight to Houston. There we'll have breakfast and explore during a three hour layover. Then we'll catch a two and half hour final flight to Belize City, and arrive around 10:30 tomorrow morning. I'll sleep well tomorrow night for sure.

It feels weird to be writing this and not ending with a life lesson of some sort. It also feels pretty wonderful to just be here and to be open to whatever comes along and to be able to share all of that with you and my future self - the one who will return home in sixteen days different in some way than the me writing this now.


patricia said...

What amazing timing. I just sat down to blog and saw your post. Godspeed my friend. Love. to. you.

Teresa Coltrin@Journaling Woman said...

This, "big honkin' things with all kinds of warnings to go with", makes me laugh.

There is a life lesson here in my opinion: Live.

Have a great time.


Stacy Crawford said...

Enjoy the beautiful sights, smells and wonders of a new place!

DJan said...

You must have taken that picture yourself, holding out your phone camera. That's what it looks like to me, anyway. Adventure! Two can visit the toucans and write lots and lots about it. I look forward to your mighty adventure. Rain makes things awfully green and lovely, I know! :-)

Dee said...

Dear Deb, I so look forward to your posts from Belize. Since we studied Central and South America in grade school, I've wanted to see the Mayan ruins. And to see them through your wise and discerning eyes is a great gift to all of us. Peace.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You did include a life lesson. You are heading into a great adventure, one that entails some risk and some discomfort, probably. Wear lots of sunscreen and have a grand time!

Heidrun Khokhar said...

You have chosen a real adventure with a jungle type of setting to explore.Makes me think back to some of my travels. Strangely I have never done much research first. I am a learn as you go person and quite impulsive too!
May it all go very well!!

kario said...

I feel your trepidation at the onset of this adventure, but I also know how long you've waited for this. Have an amazing time! I can't wait to hear all about it.


Wishing you safe travels and an experience you'll never forget.

Anonymous said...

Dear Deb,

aaahhhh...you have arrived by now, drinking in the the light and bright of Belize. Including toucans! Fabulous, all. Take care, and know you are close in our thoughts as you drum, drink, and out-maneuver mosquitoes!.


Lisa xo

Retired English Teacher said...

Deb, you did close with a life lesson. You are living in the moment and open to whatever comes your way. That is a lesson most of us are trying to learn.

Drink it all in. Enjoy!

Barb said...

I think there was a life lesson, Deb. Have fun!

Pam said...

How exciting Deb! Enjoy!!

Mark Lyons said...

I am DEFINITELY going to enjoy this vacation with you!! Be safe, be careful, be your "10 year old self" as often as you can.

I love you

yaya said...

Nothing like an adventure to bring out the kiddo in you! Enjoy, relax, and write about all the amazing things you'll see and do!

Sandi said...

I can't wait to read about your adventures! I've been writing daily, but didn't have internet until just a few moments ago! We had a five hour layover in Newark and the internet was inconsistent and frustrating! Since we've been in Manchester, it has been spotty, and I had a heck of a time. Finally Kailyn got it connected for me.
You are going to love this trip, I know it! I'm so excited to get together later in July and share our adventures!
Big hugs to you both!

Debbie Crawford said...

Safe travels and hoping this is but one of many adventures of a lifetime. Keelen has already found Belize on the map and will be following your blog too!

Wanda said...

Happy birthday...happy anniversary...happy travels. The life lesson? Openness. And how wonderful that you got a dose of "kid energy" to kick off your trip.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"It also feels pretty wonderful to just be here and to be open to whatever comes along and to be able to share all of that..."

Absolutely. Will me most interested as you get home and have time to reflect, to see whether it has changed you or enlightend you, rekindled you relationship, or make you want to move there. All ahead.