Flying Across the Country

I'm flying across the country today. I'm praying for peace. I'm feeling the joy of millions and the heaviness of our place on this earth. What a beautiful place we have here. How fortunate we really are. I'm leaving the smoke and bursting into the desert. I'm meandering with the green river that cuts through Arizona's red, red rock. Slicing it's own perfect route through the stone- slowly, steadily, finding it's way back to the sea. I'm skipping over a desert thunder storm, and am suddenly reminded that I'm a human in a big steel tube bouncing along with a couple hundred others. My heart skips a beat. That was a big bump. Up here, above the clouds, a dark and brooding storm is beautiful and soft and white, but it still jostles the plane. I peer down at our beloved Rockies. I see snow. It has been a while. Chocolate mountains with feathers of white like an eagle's. They remind me of the place where the white feathers meet the dark feathers at the base of a bald eagle's neck. Like an eagle, I fly; and I get to look down on the beauty. Now just clouds and more clouds. The new Coldplay album is in my ears. “Cemeteries of London." Wow. What a song. God is everywhere. I remember when a toothless and joyful old woman in Chile said that to me with such conviction and elation. She pointed to the fruit tree in her humble dirt yard. She picked an apricot and shared a piece of God with me. He's in the dirt. He's in my blind eye,"she said. “They go searching to see God in their own way," goes the song. Now, the farms. The green circles and half circles. The patterns that shape the sustenance of so much of the world. Please, never let us forget how to grow our own food. Never let us forget of the miracle of planting a seed and watching it grow. These crops that offer themselves up gladly for our survival aren't afraid to grow again. They all reach towards the sun without hesitation. They never question their own beauty the way we humans do. Working with plants keeps us in touch with the cycles of the planet. Farmers know what's in the soil, and where to find water. My dad's a farmer, and I've learned to rely more on his weather forecast than on that of the news. Farmers and sailors just know. Their lives depend on it. Now we're on the other side of all the clouds and over lake Michigan. Small ocean lakes in the middle of our continent. When you're flying over them, they really do look like oceans. I don't see any waves today. The light is different over here in the east. It's a little older, wiser, and a little more set in its ways. The light here above the clouds even, invokes visions of sturdy brick buildings and clock towers. Civilized navy pea coats and hearty meals. I'm a stranger in the east. It never feels like home, and it excites me. I wonder who I would be if I were from here. I'd probably be a photographer. I'd shoot things in this beautiful old light, and in a studio in a loft in an old brick building. In winter, I'd walk, holding the collar of my pea coat tightly around my neck, and I'd be comfortable in the freezing air. But I'm a guest here. I look with wonder and try to fit in a little.

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