Flock of birds, hovering above. Just a flock of birds, it’s how you think of love.
The engines start to hum and roar as we prepare for takeoff. I put my iPhone on airplane mode and open up a playlist of songs to get me through the last leg of the journey, from Atlanta to my home, Minneapolis. I close my eyes to hold back tears but all I see are the bright and hopeful faces of those dear brothers and sisters I just said goodbye to.
And I always look up to the sky, pray before the dawn. ‘Cause they fly always; sometimes they arrive, sometimes they are gone. They fly on.
I’m listening to the song “O” by Coldplay, from their new album, Ghost Stories. It’s my first time hearing this song. Coldplay has always been a special band to me. I can remember the first time I really noticed them: I was in my hospital bed at Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis, flipping channels when I first saw their music video for the song “Clocks”. I love how whenever I hear this song, I can trace so many more special moments of my life all the way back to this one.
I close my eyes tighter as the soft piano line continues to rise and fall. I’m not ready to go home, because I already feel at home. I want to write down and savor every single moment of this journey. Every smile, laugh, tear, hug. The glow in everyone’s faces that now cannot be extinguished. But I’m too tired to write. I worry if I don’t write soon, I might lose every moment.
Later I’m getting off the train in downtown Minneapolis, and suddenly I realize I’m walking the same route I take home from work every day, as if I had never left. I see people in suits rushing home. Tomorrow their cares will be mine.
But I don’t worry. Nothing can remove this glow now. I realize that I don’t have to worry about the daily bombardments of life that will soon consume me.
I think back on the third day of the hike when I was sick, dehydrated and a little bit delirious. I didn’t want to continue walking but was too faint to get on a horse. But Dr. Deming, smiling as always, wouldn’t have any of my complaints. He looked at me and said, “Think about how you can reach out to others.”
Reach out to others? When I can barely stand? Are you crazy?
He was right.
I get up anyways, and think about the group. I think about my family back home. I think about everyone I love, and everyone I live for. I think of all the heartbreaking stories others have shared while on this trip, and I feel their burdens. And pretty soon I no longer feel the weight of my own.
So fly on, ride on through. Maybe one day I’ll fly next to you…maybe one day I can fly with you.