It’s a Sunday evening in April. From the window seat of a Boeing 747, I gaze out at the Pacific Ocean. Unlike all other objects in sight, the ocean grows all the more expansive as the altitude of the plane increases above Los Angeles. I see the reflection of Liza Copeland’s Cruising for Cowards below the wing of the plane, almost as if it is floating on the sea. We’re going to be out there soon. I’m trying without success to spot sailboats. I want to make up stories. I want to imagine where the vessels I hope to see might be going to and coming from and who might be aboard. It’s humbling to see the ocean from above, and I can only imagine how I will feel when the sea is all that surrounds us. My heart beats faster. I catch my breath.
Time is passing so quickly now, and the pace of our departure date speeding toward us seems to be accelerating as the date draws near. Time is an incredible force. Its sands heal some wounds, while leaving others raw. Some relationships grow stronger, while others become brittle. When distance is added, the complexity of maintaining relationships is generally intensified. I had traveled to LA for a work conference and to spent the weekend with Niki, one of my best friends from college. Major moves in my life have allowed me to experience the sadness and joys that are the fruits of those forces. After attending college in southern Utah, I lived in South Florida for four years, before relocating to Seattle nearly four years ago. Niki and I haven’t lived in the same city for a decade now, but when we see each other, we fall into step with few changes to the rhythm we established years ago. Granted, the ketchup is now organic and purchased in bottle form (rather than snagged from fast food joints and gas stations in packets), but our relationship looks otherwise about the same. It’s amazing.
As we looked out over Marina del Rey and walked near the beach, I found myself wondering how my relationships with friends and family will deepen, be tempered, or simply be changed by our upcoming transition abroad. Establishing strong relationships is something I take great pride in, and one of the best things about distance is the exhilaration that is experienced when reunions bring friends and family back together.
Life a grand adventure, and isn’t time beautiful…