Tag Archives: airport

Reunions

In the three and a half years we’ve known each other, Mike and I have spent at least 3 weeks apart nine times now. When Mike was still living in PNG there was the three months apart right after we started dating and three and a half more after we got engaged. There were four month-long overseas consultancies Mike did during our first year of marriage. We spent about half of the first six months of last year apart before our move to Laos. And then there’s been this last ten weeks.

Mike will arrive into the Gold Coast tomorrow morning at about 7:30am, so when I haven’t been wondering whether the baby will beat him here I’ve been thinking a lot about reunions lately.

The last couple of days before a reunion I used to get oddly nervous. I wanted to be back together again but I often caught myself fretting about his return, too. What if he’d changed? What if I had? What if we struggled to find things to talk about? What if it was weird and we ended up staring at each other over the dinner table (or in bed) wondering, “who are you, and what are you doing here again?”

I’m not feeling nervous about Mike getting here this time – possibly because when I haven’t been busy forgetting all about appointments and planned skype calls any fretting I’ve done in the last ten days has run more along the lines of: “who am I, and how did I end up pregnant and living with my parents again?” So given that Mike is landing here in ten hours I’d say I’m home free this time, because even when I did get nervous in advance of a reunion I was usually beyond the anxious stage by the time I reached the airport.

I always aimed to get to the airport not too long after Mike’s plane was scheduled to land so that I’d be there before he exited customs. I wrote the following in my journal the day after one of these pickups during our first year of marriage:

I don’t mind these airport waits as long as they don’t go on too long. You can’t maintain that focused state of excited expectation for too long before it rises, crests, and transforms into something else for a while – boredom, thinking about things I need to do, anxiety. But as long as they don’t drag on beyond an hour there’s a wonderful concentration to these snippets of waiting to come together again. A profound gratitude, and amazement, that we have journeyed halfway around the world and yet again found our way safely back to each other. A wonder at the mystery of relationships, at how my life has been transformed during the last two years in ways I had never imagined.

I like standing there in the airport anticipating the moment that Mike will come through that door. I like watching other people doing their own waiting and wondering what has bought them to that point. I like feeling a part of the mystery of a thousand separate lives all meeting at that single moment like a huge tangled ball of living yarn.

Waiting in the airport is that turning point from the busyness of getting ready to have him home and the solitude of the last month. The familiar happiness of reunion begins before he even appears, although the instant of greeting is always a slightly different experience. Yesterday, the kiss I’d been anticipating – that radiant singular moment of greeting – was fleeting and not as electric I’d expected. The hug was better. All warm, and stubbly, and smelling him familiar, his hands firm against my back, tilting my face up towards him as you lift it to sunshine on a spring day.

Our last LAX reunion before moving to Laos - June 2010

What have been your experiences with reunions – what do they make you think and feel? Do you have any reunion traditions?

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Holiday dreaming

Happy Monday! I’ve been in Australia a week today and feeling very much on holidays now, so forgive me this next month if I’m not posting here three times a week as usual. I will try to stay checked in but this next couple of weeks, at least, will be quite busy. Tomorrow I head to Melbourne for a couple of days and I’ll meet Mike there around noon on Friday. We’ll head straight down south for the wedding of good friends, Tristan and Amber (last night I dreamed this wedding took place on a plane, with a pay-as-you-go buffet). After their wedding Mike and I are jaunting off to Tasmania for a few days to take a “just us” holiday, and then we fly back up here for the week before Christmas. We fly back to Laos on the 27th of December and life and blogging will then resume normal rhythm. That’s the theory, anyway.

So while we’re on the topic of dreams, do any of you have recurring dreams that you puzzle over? I’m a very vivid dreamer, often having what Mike calls “crackpipe dreams” – vibrant dreams that make no logical sense – but my recurring dreams are much more prosaic.

I have two types of recurring dreams. One type is set in an airport – I’m running through the airport because I’m late for my plane, or the plane is delayed, or I’m on the wrong flight, or I’m stuck on a plane and we’ve already been in the air for 55 hours, or I’m trapped in a plane at the bottom of the ocean looking desperately for my passport before I try to swim for the surface because I can’t leave my passport behind… that sort of thing.

The other type of recurring dream I have just as frequently, maybe more, and it’s much less self-explanatory. In this dream I’m almost always my own age, with two masters degrees, and a decade of work experience, etc, but I suddenly find myself back in high school. Something had gone wrong way back then and I missed an essential graduation requirement somewhere along the way. So now, in my thirties, I have to go back and do this thing (usually repeat an entire year, with special emphasis on calculus and French classes) so that I can validate my high school graduation. If I don’t go back to high school it’ll invalidate everything I’ve accomplished since then. So weird, and so freaky, because these high school dreams are usually the “this is absolutely completely totally happening to me” and I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and I am always so relieved to realize that I am really not facing another year of calculus classes and teenage posturing that it almost makes having the dream worth it.

What about you? Any recurring dreams that make you shake your head and wonder where this stuff is coming from?