Tuesday, January 22, 2008

By hope

I dropped the boys off at Heather's office at 3:30 and drove to the airport. Boarded a commuter jet - what land is this where we have jet airplanes for commuting - and hopped to Cincinnati. The sunset at 26,000 feet was gorgeous, the man next to me moved to another seat and we both had more room. The clouds spread out like a blanket covering, warming, protecting the earth; shrouding it. Pockets of lights below, patterns of cities and highways, a police car, traffic, a baseball diamond. Another city, people going home. There were two small kids traveling with their mother in front of me. My family is getting ready for bed right now.

When I landed I called home to catch the boys before they went to bed - but missed them. Grabbed a Quizno's sub for dinner. A long time ago I saw a travelling salesman driving in front of me, he had shirts hanging on a bar that went across the back of his car. They filled the car from side to side. His wardrobe on the road, his home away from home; his car. Where does he eat every night? I carry my bag, sit down and plug in my phone to charge it.

The woman across the isle from me on the next regional jet worked on her laptop, spreadsheets and powerpoint decks. Patterns of keys clicking; a splash of red and blue. Another person working. Landed in Greenville to dense fog. It covers everything in a hazy mist. The plane ducked out of it and the lights of cars and buildings emerged.

There is a line at the National rental car; I bypass it to go straight to the garage. The attendant: Yes Sir, No Sir; his neatly combed hair cut in a typical southerner's style, his moustache short; Leave Me Alone Sir. But I don't blame him, it's 9 PM on a Tuesday, he's married, clearly a father; doesn't want to be there any more than I do.

The tall skinny long-needle topped pine slipped by as I drove behind a semi down the highway. I catch H on the phone before she cleans up and goes to bed. It begins to really hit me now. The glow of enormous Southern strip malls lighted the sky and the haze around so I could have driven with the headlights off. I pass a Honda dealer, a BMW dealer and a Jaguar dealer. I pass an Olive Garden and a Boston Market. What land is this that has these things?

I check in at the Embassy Suites, a nice young lady greets me "Good evening, do you have a reservation?" One of my staff was looking for me earlier, but there is no way I am going to talk to them now. There are a number of tables in the hotel bar with people congregated around them. They are all looking around to see who else is around. I wonder if they see each other - they clearly see me as I walk by. I see a man sit down among them with his laptop and a powerpoint presentation running. My room is on the 9th floor.

***

On the mirror in our bedroom at home, Heather has tucked in a card with a MLK quote: "Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." I believe this to be true. I believe this to be true for everyone, for everything they want, for everything they do. For everyone. I believe that hope connects us together in ways that we often ignore, or at least forget to notice.

I have not been gone 12 hours, but the realization of hope and appreciation is acute. Our future baby girl, our now baby boys, my wife, our house, our careers. It is all done by hope.

Thank you Heather for hanging in there and supporting me so much in all I do with work. It is done by hope.

And love.

4 comments:

Malia'sMama said...

What an amazing post. Blessings.

candisgillett@hotmail.com said...

Thoughtful, inquisitive. Relevant incorporation of dialogue. Laden with imagery, yet concise.

Oh, my bad! I've been scoring so many essays this week I guess I forgot where I was... ;-)

Thank you anyway. That is a lovely piece of prose.

Candis
Mom to Colin
(Who is exactly one month younger
than K & O)

Anonymous said...

who couldn't love braydon? what a sweet post and a wonderful family!

lori

jazzmoh said...

What a beautiful post!