The local time is 10:58pm but it feels much later. Its been a day. I hesitate to call any day I am blessed to have experienced a “bad” day, but it was one where I found myself grasping for the goodness, the gratitude, and the grace.

I had almost arrived to Denver. Our pilot had previously made mention of turbulence we may encounter as we prepared to land but I figured, I fly often enough–I will be okay. I was wrong. We just kept dropping. My body was in panic. I shouldn’t feel that floating rollercoaster feeling on a plane. I looked at the window and saw the mountains and then the plane shook violently. The little Indian woman beside me was starting to fret. We dropped again. I closed my eyes and hot tears fell. I told myself it was fine, just air pockets. Or rough air. Or jet streams. I struggled for some meteorological explanation. But all I felt was the falling.

The mountains were so close. I could see the stream carved valleys and icy caps. Down we fell closer to them. I closed my eyes again. Telling whatever power would listen that I was grateful for this morning having spoken to my mom and my sister. I told them I loved them. At least I did that. And I suppose for those who have never experienced anything like this, I might sound a bit dramatic. But I’d left panic and found peace and in hindsight that’s scarier.

We shook and dropped and shook until we landed, very roughly. I wiped the tears and the man behind me rubbed my back. I just kept saying, “that was not okay.” I cried from the time it started until I was in the shuttle headed to the hotel where there was a debacle with my room.

As I sat in the lobby, growing more and more frustrated by the minute I sang to myself. I longed to play in my hair. My hair. It has always been a sort-of soothing thing for me. I needed some comfort.

I didn’t call my mom, because I did not want to worry her. I knew she would be concerned and I was going to be okay. I was just a little shaken up. When she saw my facebook status dictating an awful mood she knew something was wrong. Lots of people did because I rarely, if ever post negative things. Just not me. She, of course, went into mom mode and wanted to fix it and make it better. I recalled that awful flight and started crying again. It struck me that no matter how old, accomplished, mature, developed we get…sometimes we’re just little helpless beings in need of love, affection, and comfort. When Mo came, she gave me a hug, helped me sort through my hotel woes and I told her, “you should be a mom.” 

After dinner, I was calm. Ready to shower and wash off this day and settle into bed. I laid on the bed unable to locate the anger I felt so strongly only hours before. Instead I found the goodness in problems easily fixed and good friends willing to help fix them. The gratitude in a peer, a friend, a mentor who can laugh and cry with you with such ease, its as if it always was. And the grace…for a life where I am so incredibly loved. Even the problems I have show just how privileged I am.

And so, before bed I say my prayers. For my mother and my sisters. May they always know I love them. For good pilots and safe landings. For loving friends with nurturing hearts. And for the good sense to even in crisis, know there’s something more than this moment. Thanks to the divine, even for my anger.

6 thoughts on “Grasping

  1. I totally relate to this post. I was flying back from Dallas and the landing gear was stuck. The pilot first announced that we were turning back, but then decided to continue on. What a helpless, frightening experience. My thoughts that day mirror your own. Thank you for posting this.

    1. It is absolutely terrifying. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. The only thing that kept me even semi-calm was the 2 minute conversation I’d had with my mom and sister hours before. I am sorry you can even relate to this experience. The good thing is, we’re here to tell the tale.

  2. Know that even when things seem hopeless there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even bad times end. Build a happy place in your mind and when times get ruff, mentally take yourself there.

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