a postcard from paradise
My heart skipped a beat when the airplane started to lower itself into Vancouver. We hovered above a sheet of clouds with the odd mountain peak poking through. Sudden gaps revealed rows of long, dramatic tree lined mountains. A pink sun set the clouds aglow.
It was the most beautiful landing I've ever experienced.
Before I knew it we were descending into the city lights and the wheels were grating along the runway.
One of my greatest pleasures is, and always will be, the moment when the airplane touches the ground. My whole body shivers. I've arrived.
When we got into the airport, two young men from Quebec approached me. "So, is you're boyfriend picking you up?" "No," I told them, "the love of my life is. My mother."
And soon she was there, in the flesh, glowing in an orange sweater. I yelped and jumped into her arms.
"I see where she gets her good looks from!" Remarked one of the young men in his heavy accent. I pulled her away to get my bag and have her to myself.
Driving home through our quiet city, every sidewalk, every storefront, hit me with a memory. It's been over a year, and yet it feels like I never left. The only thing difference is that my heart is beating a little faster and my head's in a much better place.
I'm home. It's shocking. Everything is big and clean, and the grass is blindingly green. Waiters apologize when your food is five minutes late, and the coffee is divine no matter where you go.
I jumped onto a friend yesterday, wrapped my legs around her, and told her I was speechless. Five minutes later I couldn't stop talking, ecstatic to be making dirty jokes and laughing with my friends again.
I am beside myself. I have my mother, my loving father, my brothers, the ocean and my friends.
It's what I need. A taste of the familiar and somewhere to call home.