23 September 2007

Everything you want

You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover

The autumnal equinox occurred at 5:51 am EDT as I printed out my Air Canada boarding pass at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Both events marked the end of my summer.

Summer is always precious, for all the normal reasons: vacation, good weather, a certain freedom, but also because I see it as a time of rebirth. My birthday falls in late spring, and celebrating that annular event marks necessary change. Summer is a time of reflection, a time to explore the deep and inexplicable desires that drive me, a time to move forward on the journey that life is meant to be. It is a time when I meet myself, and am utterly astonished to see that who I believe I am and who everyone else sees are two wholly different people.

Travel magnifies every moment, every nuance. Friday morning, I was moved to deep, heartbreaking joy at the sight of the sun breaking over the eastern mountains while my plane taxied down the runway. After a week of unrelieved stress, I could have cried over the singular miracle of a sunrise.

Saturday morning, I watched the sun rise over Lake Ontario, changing the clouds to rose before appearing as a fiery ball above them, light reflecting off the wet roof of the Air Canada Centre below. Thousands of miles from home, the same sun rises, the same eyes watch, and the experience is completely different and just as miraculous. Anticipation and a cup of good coffee just added to the moment.

This morning I watched the sun rise over the airport in Toronto, shining blindingly through the structural glass and metal, illuminating and silhouetting the people busily moving along the walkway suspended above. They were beautiful in their motion and sense of purpose.

I've logged over 20,000 miles in the air this summer, landing in airports large and small all over North America. I've seen old friends and cities I know well, and made new friends and visited places I've never seen. I watched a perfect marble grow from a chunk of glass; I watched bats rise in near silence from a chilly cave to go in search of food.

Through it all, though, was family and friends, people so precious to me who lived with me in moments of perfect harmony and accord, and insane laughter, whether it was over getting lost again or what might be growing in Kansas City or that the two most orthopedically challenged members of the family were hiking through a cave faster than anyone else.

And there was music. But there's always music. And dancing. It wouldn't be my life without them.

Happy first day of autumn.

Past the places where you might have turned
You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return

Go listen to some good music: "Everything You Want" from the album Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon.