It was fascinating to start the new year in the sky. To watch the curve of the earth appear below, as the plane lifted off, at once heavy and weightless as it cut the clouds and traveled upward improbably into the wide expanse of atmosphere above the earth.
It’s a wonder to feel the way anything is possible this very instant, always and again.
In this new year.
I left before dawn, after the requisite security line removal of belt and shoes, jackets, laptop and toiletries laid bare for the world to see, and then no coffee because the kiosk was closed, I was off. The sky was ink, the runway lit by lamplight, the cabin dark.
I held my breath: waiting for the feeling of air catching under the wings. I used to love airports. They meant adventure and freedom: Italy, Germany, New York, Puerto Rico. I loved the bustle, and energy I felt at airports, the way everyone was coming and going, the expectation and possibility that was almost palpable in the air. But now the world of airports is defined by orange alerts and leaving. Leaving my two sweet boys and T, who woke with me and carried my bags to the door and kissed me softly on the lips before I left for a week to visit my sister and her new sweet little baby boy.
In the air the earth grows small and spectacular at once. The land stretches out in an intricate pattern of rivers and mountain ranges overlayed with the persistent geometry of human life: grids of roads and fields and buildings that look, before dawn like twinkling circuit boards; light bordered by dark, by deserts, by lakes, by the black of pine forests and mountain ranges, white-capped volcanoes rising up above the clouds.
Three flights later I was in Oregon, circling then landing next to a field of grazing sheep. Live oaks, and mossy sycamores; hills steep and rolling under wide West Coast skies. I walk out into the bright afternoon sun disoriented by the time change, and hug my sister who looks beautiful and tired and happy all at once.
It stuns me to realize how I’ve already forgotten how newborn time is alternate to the reality of the rest of the world. How time is defined by the moments of feeding, and the moments of sleep in between. How life exists entirely within the circumference of doing nothing but holding the baby, and doing small things: running the dishwasher, or righting coats on the rack; the world soft and quiet and wrapped in the cocoon of a now that the rest of us forget, caught up in the plummet and pull of a faster pace.
I’ve already forgotten the way this is everything. Small sighs, milk down your shirt, toasted cheese, and the gift that is five consecutive hours of sleep. It’s a time out of time: the moments of falling in love and being split open. It is the beginning of everything.
I sit with my nephew in the crook of my knee and write; body memory returning, time traveling backwards to that newborn time with Sprout, new and warm and dreaming.
I try to explain how this is now and then it’s over, forever.
Last year my word was action.
And it was fulfilled again and again with steps taken and decisions made towards a life more fulfilling, sustainable, and full.
It was an incredible year: T quit his job and found new work that he loves; I went back to school and launched A Field Guide To Now (still holding my breath on this....More (good) news and rewards—finally—to be sent out in February!) and my boys learned to play together: moving through the house in a tornado of action, transforming couch cushions into forts and blocks into castles.
This year my word is fruition.
Fruition (n.) 1) attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment: 2) enjoyment, as of something attained or realized. 3) the state of bearing fruit.
I loved reading your comments in your last post; loved to feel the force of your intention being put out into the world. I'm so looking forward to what this year brings. To the adventures, the discoveries, the things that will come to fruition.