Saturday, August 29, 2009

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

And so, Siobhan begins her India adventure. One step. Months of reading, studying, research. 20 hours in an airplane. Weeks of planning, hand-wringing and imaginings. Tens of arguments. Sleepless nights. Worry. Giddy excitement. Packing. Re-packing. A few more arguments. We frame these loud discussions with sick humor. Hysterical laughing. Weeping.

The sky weeps, too. Bawls, really. What happens when a N’oreaster meets Gulf Stream low pressure system? A hybrid creating chaos, cold and wind. “Danny” --the name for a sweet Irish lad. Not. Possibility of flights delayed or cancelled. The drive into Boston is tense. The rain falls sideways and people drive like the moon is full. I try to shoot some video of this first step. Lame.

We sit together for a few minutes to savor a “last” taste of New England: a bowl of Legal chowder with fish and chips. Jesse Jackson and two companions eat at the table behind us. They looked tired, sad, distracted, having recently attended Ted Kennedy’s funeral Mass in Mission Hill. Another journey originating in Boston today.

American flight 547 leaves right on time.

Sio calls from the arrival gate in Chicago. They have landed. She is safe and excited. She’s worried about hauling her stuffed carry-ons to the international terminal. As luck would have it, her departure gate is right next to her arrival gate. In the Ladies, she shoots and posts a “thumbs-up” pic on FaceBook. On her way.

I study her face and wonder why she must travel 10,000 miles to discover her independence. Dear Siobhan, may this journey enrich your life in so many ways. I wish I could share some of these times with you, but I know they are your times, not mine.

“I dreamed a thousand new paths. I woke and walked my old one.” Chinese Proverb. I wear comfortable shoes with new orthotics. I carry too much baggage around my waist. I am envious of your adventure, but content to sit by the sea wall and watch the seals. On Mondays I play with dear Dora and on Wednesdays, sweet Avery totally tires me out.

Have a blast, Baby Girl.