And Just Like That

“I’m leaving on a jet-plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…Oh, I hate to go.” ~ John Denver, Leaving, on a Jet Plane

    And just like that, the semester is over. A very surreal last few days, trying to see and go to all the places that you’ve loved, but still feeling essentially like you’re discovering the city again. A practiced tourist.  A tourist with a chance to settle down. A tourist for an extended period of time.
“You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like not only will you miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way again.” ~ Azar Nafasi
  – Picture Cred. Kevin D. –
   I’ve found that the same emotions, for the most part, play into leaving. Happy and lonely and lovely and new. The start of a new chapter and the end of an old one. There’s a tad more nostalgia though, in that mix of emotion. A tinge of sadness. The chapter is over. And it was wonderful. And I don’t know if I’ll get to read it again, but I enjoyed nearly every word, and I never wanted it to end. But all things have to come to a close eventually.
As dawn turns to day, nothing gold can stay. ~ John Green
    Just now, as I’m sitting in the airport, these two women have come up, speaking English to one another with heavy, broken accents. “Is amazing,” one woman keeps repeating to the other, who is nodding in agreement, excitement in her eyes. “Really is amazing,” the woman says again, coming up to the window nearby me, the wide clean glass panels at the Frankfurt Airport displaying a row of six or seven large white planes, their tails emblazoned with the navy blue and gold-yellow logo of Lufthansa, the little windows in rows like Morse code on the sides of their bright white bodies. “So many people who work on these planes. They go up so many places.” The other woman nods. “Is beautiful,” she agrees.  “I take a picture for myself. I take a picture to remember,” continues the first woman, fishing her phone out of her purse and holding the screen up to the window.
    And I turn to look again as well, at the planes resting on the landing, the bags being loaded and unloaded into the cargo compartments, at the planes in the sky, their outlines blending into the faded blue sky streaked with wisps of gray cloud – off to a new place, returning from an old one. To and from, come and go. So many people traveling to new destinations, leaving, returning – home. And it really is amazing. The fact that in the morning, I could go to class in Copenhagen, and by the evening, be in Ireland, Hungary, or Italy. That I could get on a train in Prague, and find myself, six hours later, in Budapest, meeting two friends who just that morning had taken a train from Vienna. And now, soon to board a flight that will take me to Colorado. Home. To Saturday brunch, to coffee in the mornings and mountains out my window, to seeing family and friends at home, to having bagels with cream cheese, shopping at big grocery stores with a dizzying array of choices, to driving once more. Home. It’s good to be going home.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” 

~ Maya Angelou


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