Funny…I write this post about arrival upon departure. It’s a strange moment in which I find myself; literally suspended in time and space. The sun just rose and turned the sky above the Great Barrier Reef delightful shades of pinks and oranges as we banked over fluffy clouds and watched the coastline of mountains and rainforests we’ve fallen in love with drift by–small enough as if as if to be inconsequential.
But, it was of great importance to four travelers. Not tourists. Travelers. Whats the difference you ask?
We were dubbed travelers by folks here who appreciated our desire to immerse ourselves into the culture. To be willing to stay out a few days in each location and do what the locals do. To set aside familiarity and try new things. We felt honored to be considered travelers.
And now all with an additional stamp in the passports.
This trip was a dream-come-true for yours truly some thirty-five years in the making. And thanks to some gatherings of folks discussing turbo-prop engines, I found myself being allowed the chance to join my sweet man and bring along Justin and Kyrsten.
Addie, now happily married and busy tending her nest remained at home. So strange to travel without her, but truly she was with us in our hearts as we all brought her with in a thousand moments of, “Addie would hate this.”. Or, “We have to find some signal in this jungle this morning to call and tell Addie goodnight!”
This trip was something we planned in advance as a needed reward for the four of us who survived The Summer of the Wedding. And it got us through.
And then, all of a sudden it was time to pack our bags and venture into the unknown.
All that was known was that we were intimidated by the flight and looking forward to opening the giant package of surprises our God had in store for us.
And did He!
Our minds were blown. Our hearts are full. Our lives enriched by the sights–breathtaking moments above the jungle and beneath the ocean. Our world expanded.
And once again, we find that no matter where you roam, people are very much the same. All looking for hearts with which to find common ground and make a connection.
It’s a huge world. And yet, so very small in the scope of things–when you measure it against the hands of the One Who created it for our pleasure.
30+ hours later…
I am writing from our last plane on the last leg on the last day of our trip. We began the journey home in Australia on Saturday, the 17th and it will end some 30 hours later on Saturday the 17th. We’ve come back to the future!
We have each cat-napped between an hour or two in the last 30+ hours. We have gone through customs at each stop. We checked our bags at each stop. We went through security each time.
These things all mean we have hauled heavy bags around airports and waited in RIDICULOUS lines at each stop. We faced strict, serious questioning and scary scanners.
We have no idea what time it is or what meal to eat when. I think we all had sandwiches and salads at 8:00 am in California.
It is evening here. The sun has gone down and appropriately so at the closing of this epic adventure.
Christmas wreaths and music fill the airports here.
We are still scratching bug bites.
Within the hour we will land in Detroit–back in the mitten–sleep for the “night” and get up early to drive to see our Addie and Austin and their kitty Lulu. Most assuredly, this momma will weep with joy to see my married girl.
I can’t wait to give her the little trinkets I picked up all over the land down under. And to get all of that chocolate out of my suitcase!!
On our way home, I will be buying the turkey to begin preparations for a Thanksgiving meal in four short days and the day following we get our Christmas tree!
Addie is making us dinner and bringing us supplies tomorrow, and we will spend the day catching each other up on the two worlds we’ve each been living in.
One quite real. The other most certainly a dream.
As we drove down the coastline (yesterday was it?) with the iPod on random one of our old favorite worship songs came on.
I grabbed Christian’s hand and we both cried tears of joy as we reveled in the love of our Father. The One Who is so big that He holds the oceans in His hand.
He did this, and all the other things He does, just because we’re His kids and He loves us. Just to make us happy. We stand amazed. And grateful beyond any words I could ever type.