2021: missing the airport

Airports – magical doors that open and close a journey. Travels are bracketed by the halls of transportation – a start and an end, the in between home and place.

The hustle, the bustle, the beeping of electric carts, the smell of coffee and off food combos, strangers, stores selling things that are emergency needs like that missing cord on the bedside table, stores selling spangling silly things no one ever really needs. Duty free perfume counters and aisles of expensive whiskey, next to giant chocolate bars. I love it all.

For people who travel a lot, it’s the place of rituals, passing up that coffee because the best one comes from the kiosk down the 4th corridor, pass the shoe shine stand. The magazine only bought at the news shop with the packet of gum and tissues that are discovered on well into the journey, when they take on a miracle of planning moment and save the day. And the people watching. The people watching that soothes a noisy soul’s imagination. I miss them the random strangers and the stories I make up about their lives the most of all.

It’s my church, or one of my churches, where I go to worship what can be and what was – where I have nervously anticipated what’s next and cried tears of acceptance of what won’t be or people I am about to miss so much.

We all have the unofficial places we go to worship – would it be so wrong that mine is an airport? Because it is.


2017: Sunshine and Miami

This year didn’t wait until March to come in like a lion. Living in the USA, life as we knew it has been changed every day just a little bit since our new president took office.

Know this space isn’t for politics but be warned it’s going to come up for certain for me. Since I was a small girl, life has been about your stories, my stories, our stories. I think of my friend village as a collective of experiences and lifestyles. That’s going to open the door to sharing that in this space too as that rainbow is under some dark clouds. 

Stay the course. It will always get back to the lions, the cows and all the places they live. 

Life under the gun metal gray sky of January in my cow town always has been a bit soul crushing so headed south to see my Cuban family and the sun for a few days. Nothing warms the heart like a few days with all of them, doesn’t hurt that vitamin D shines down from the sky.  

Here comes the politics. Scroll down if you want to skip it. 

It’s hard to be a child of a political refugee that has at the same time never known a day of worry. If that was what my father wanted for his American girls, he got it. Leaving his beloved island for a new life in the land of the free, he guaranteed us, my sister and I, the chance to get all the way to middle age (almost) in safety and prosperity. That dream of his seems under attack. One side claiming victory for this and the other fighting like hell to expose that victory for all the misses and vulnerabilities. It’s complicated these days.

The loop that plays in my head is what if after being willing to give up everything, my father arrived at Miami Airport, where my plane will land in just a bit, and was sent back. My heart actually aches. I love my country, all of the faults and all of the amazing things that make us a resilient people but I am saddened at the direction immigration has taken these past weeks. I won’t get started on how I feel about being a woman. I do believe all lives matter but the reason that some need to cry from the rooftops that theirs do a bit more these days is that they feel they don’t, not at all. Not mention the wolves, the trees. It’s a strange and hard time. 

So. Sunshine. Cafe con leche. Being with my family can heal any hurt. The fierce and passionate love of a Cuban, even this Cuban American, shines as brightly as a day in July. 

Meanwhile…. plans firm for a return to East Africa. It’s a problem to leave one’s heart behind in a far away land. Love is not predictable. After years of joking around about it and having Cinderella style dreams about going to the life love ball, as cheesy as that may sound, I find myself at a life crossroads, one glass slipper in my hand and a real live prince out there with one in his. No one is more surprised than me. We will see what the fortunes hold for us. Faith and the ability to suspend my disbelief has never been more important.