Saturday, July 25, 2015

Looking Down on Life

Yesterday I saw my life from the window of an airplane.

For a couple of months now Bill and I have been in the throes of an agonizing decision.…in the fall we are moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in order to be closer to Emily and her family.

Last week I was in Tennessee for a church musician’s conference, the one I attend every summer, and my return flight included a transfer at Washington-Reagan airport.  I have flown into and out of this airport so many times that I know exactly where to sit for the best views.  I was in that very seat yesterday, 7F, and watched the usual landmarks pass by - the Capital, National Cathedral, Georgetown University and such.  As we got to the outskirts of the city I returned to reading my book until a few minutes later I looked out the window again and we were crossing the sparkling Chesapeake Bay and its scary bridge. My eyes followed the highway across Kent Island until it turned north towards Centreville, where I will begin work in October. I was seeing my future.

Perhaps I’ve just never noticed, but I don’t remember flying that particular route before. I truly had a bird’s eye view of our new hometown and the surrounding area of farms, fields and woods. It felt like serendipity, seeing where we are moving from that vantage point, and it gave me a tremendous sense of confidence and a feeling that all would be well.

And then…as is customary the plane flew along the coast of Maine, up to Damariscotta before turning inland across the central part of the state.  I have lived here for many years and know the geography well…I recognized Popham Beach, the famous bridge over the Penobscot River at Bucksport and the road I traveled for many an organ lesson.  As we made our way north towards Bangor I could see the paradise of Mount Desert Island in the far distance, a scene of indescribable beauty. My life of the past 22 years passed before me and I both grieved and rejoiced… the passage of time was staring me in the face, yet my heart was filled with joy at the memory of friends, music and natural beauty.

Dear, dear Maine…I will miss you. And Maryland?  I think we will get along very well.