It is 10:27am on Saturday, January 4th, 2014. I am sitting here at my late grandfather's desk in South Carolina waiting for someone from Delta to call me back. We were scheduled to fly home today but because of the Northeast snowstorm our flight has been canceled. The girls appear to be thrilled. They love this place deeply and have had a wonderful time with their cousins and the fact that their time has been extended is only a good thing for them. They are still in their pajamas - the matching cherry ones they wore on Christmas Eve - and they are chasing each other around the house, stopping only to pop pinata candy and check in on the two resident Furbies.
And yet I sit here. All business. Waiting. Dealing with the fact of changed plans. When I first learned that our flight was canceled a few hours ago, I did a curious thing. I took my phone and went outside. I was barefoot and it was cold, but that didn't stop me. I walked out on the porch and snapped the above photo. If you squint you will see the lone bird in the water. I posted this shot to Instagram with the following caption: I suppose there are worse places to be stranded.
And this is the truth, isn't it? Here I am, at a place that means the world to me, for a few extra hours or days. This does not have to be a bad thing. And it isn't a bad thing. Just a bit of a curve-ball and a standard-issue one at that. These things happen. Weather happens. Life happens. And we need to adapt, adjust, change course.
As I'm sure you've realized by now, this is not just a post about weather patterns and flight delays. This is a post about life. About the powerful metaphor that lurks in my current situation. We make plans. We have expectations. We fashion goals. And then something happens, something big or small, predictable or no, and we must roll with it, we must re-callibrate.
Aren't we all in some sense stranded all of the time? Stranded in a time and place between who we are and who we hope to be, between draft and finished product, between here and there? Aren't we always in some kind of transition, some breed of flux? Aren't we always waiting for something? That call from the airlines? The free time we need to figure out our fates?
I know I am getting all philosophical, but that's who I am, isn't it? I am here. Away from home, eager to get home, fumbling with a change in circumstance, listening to my little ladies play, pondering the big questions that linger in the small details.
It's interesting because I have several draft posts about it being a brand new year, about all of the resolutions I have and am considering, about what I want most from the next twelve months. And I haven't published these posts for some reason. Maybe because they aren't perfect or polished. Or maybe because I've been waiting for something to come along that I must say, that I want to say, that feels important to say.
I guess this is it.
Maybe happiness comes when we figure out how to embrace being stranded?
I will publish this now and log off and wait for that call and play with my girls and do my very best to embrace this detour. We will get home when we get home and for now there are hours to enjoy and experiences to have and little girls to tickle and birds to behold.
Happy 2014 to all of you wherever you are stranded.
P.S. - Just realized, after reading AG's comment below, that I wrote a post almost four years ago about the beauty of being stranded. Here it is.