Just a week after the weather disruption I wrote about a couple of days ago, here we are dealing with another one. While last week’s disruption involved warmth of a roaring fire, good food, and time to leisurely clean out closets, this one brings uncertainty and fear. Mike and I are in an airplane circling over Steamboat Springs, Colorado, unable to land due to fog. The pilot says we have enough fuel to circle overhead for up to thirty minutes, then if the fog doesn’t clear, we will divert to Denver. To complicate things even more, Tara and Stephen and the girls are on another AA flight, theirs from Jacksonville, Florida, due into Steamboat Springs about the same time ours. I suppose they are also circling, their pilot dealing with the same options.
When I am troubled, I write. So, I decided the best way to deal with my fear is to write. And of course, trust and hope for a happy outcome for all of us, with only a flight delay the result. In the meantime, I will write.
While on this flight I just finished reading the powerful book, When Breath Becomes Air. Read it. Had I not just finished it, I might be even more frightened. Knowing how safe air travel is, I truly am trusting a good outcome for us on these flights, but the unknown is still scary. The author of When Breath Becomes Air faced a much greater fear, that of losing all he cared about: his family, his avocation, his life, to lung cancer when he was at the height of his career.
When we feel most out of control is when we feel most vulnerable and afraid. While the reality is that there is much in life that we can’t control, too often we go about our daily lives’ assuming we have forever. Otherwise, we would spend our time more mindfully, engage more often with those we love and less with work, and better prepare for our financial future. But perhaps because of our resilient natures and overall optimism, too often we let time pass by, and wonder where it went.
This post isn’t about travel disruption, that is only the current life lesson. This is about how precious, and tenuous, our lives are.
Thirty minutes is soon up, and no recent update from the pilot. It seems that we may be headed to Denver. If so, I will be glad, and not complain one bit. All I care about at this point is all of us landing safely, regardless of where.
When you read this, (I am an optimist!) you will know that we landed safely. And I imagine where we landed will not matter to you either.