...at the Atlanta airport, I experienced a moment. As with any epiphanic spark, there's a host of set-up antecedents: getting up early, padding downstairs for tea and light, feeding the cats, emailing my husband who awaits me at the other end, tucking together boarding passes and last-minute packing decisions, working through the morning's tasks at school, getting to the airport on time, parking the car, riding the shuttle, going through security with the efficiency I've learned, getting settled, getting onboard in the right order, getting my stuff in the overhead compartment, buckling up...then, at Atlanta, that bustle from one gate to another with just enough time.
So, the crux of it: I felt good. I know how to do all this -- it's my life. And the comings and goings of this life make me feel fully engaged.
I was going up the escalator, my backpack on my back -- my trusty, reliable back cheerfully taking its load. My small side bag swung along in my left hand, my very useful and faithful fingers holding on. My shoes felt good on my feet. My feet felt good meeting the ground, grounded evenly on each step. My body moved along the way it's supposed to, calmly energetic and fully functioning.
I looked around at everybody else -- we were packed in the escalator -- and I felt happy to be among all these other humans, all of us so occupied and going places. It felt good to be in the human race, in this amazingly complex world we've made. I was "one of us," pleasantly anonymous and not alone. I don't know how I could say this, after the terrible week of Tucson and after a horrific double suicide of a couple I love, but today I loved us. Maybe it was the aftermath that did it -- the love for what remains, what hasn't died. Oh, yeah, yes, yes -- time for Dylan Thomas: