Whenever a team of astronauts is on its way home from a space mission, we inevitably hear about how they are re-entering the world’s atmosphere. And while I’ve never experienced zero gravity or been part of a mission, I too have felt re-entry.
This past weekend, I was in Winnipeg for a course. I had chosen my flights carefully, mindful of the fact I live one-and-a-half hours away from the Edmonton International Airport and that even on a short domestic flight they want you there 90 minutes early. I knew I would be driving myself and leaving the CRV in the Value Park. Friday morning, I was up about six and didn’t lie my weary head down at the Four Points Sheraton until about 10 Winnipeg time.
I was attending a course to become a certified funeral celebrant and the coursework was emotional, uplifting, and demanding. Long days, short breaks, and homework on Saturday night left time for little else.
As usual, I over packed. I know conference rooms are either sweatboxes or walk-in refrigerators and I needed to be ready for either. The high-20s temperature so early in the season meant the air conditioning on the main floor of the hotel was not yet on. Of course. Thank God the guest rooms were comfortable.
A thick paperback was to occupy me during all the waiting associated with air travel and hotel stays. I brought my heavy, 17-inch laptop. I brought jewellery and a second pair of shoes. I brought improperly packed toiletries and stupidly had a bottle of water. Just enough to trigger a search of my handbag and a pat-down for all the world to see. FYI: airport security guys can’t repack a woman’s purse to save their lives.
Because of the draining nature of the material we were covering and the stimulation I always feel when I’m learning something, I didn’t think about home. I tend to be an all-or-nothing girl. I throw myself into the job at hand, give it my best, and not think about anything else at the time. My goal was finish the course, get certified, squeeze the materials I bought into an overstuffed suitcase, check out, walk a hundred yards to the airport, check in (allowing enough time for more touchy-feely if necessary), fly back to Edmonton, find my vehicle, and drive home.
As I left the airport car park, I began an earthly re-entry back into my life. I wondered how the seeding was going for Roy (badly, it turns out. Things tend to fall to pieces when I leave). I thought about the emails and long to-do list for the event I’m coordinating. I needed to contact my peeps and let them know I’d arrived safely on terra firma. I needed to eat and wondered if our cupboards were bare. I dreaded the days of work facing me for the upcoming long weekend garage sale. And yet, despite all that, re-entry is good, from where I sit.