I love turbulance when flying. I always have. In fact, I like turbulance in my life I have come to understand. It makes it interesting. But turbulance when flying - well strangely I find comfort in it. While others are white knuckling it, their hearts pumping, I close my eyes and it takes me back to my childhood. I started flying when I was about six and have always loved it. In those early years, I would often fly alone, or "unaccompanied minor" as it was called. I felt very grown up and independent, and the fact that I was in the direct care of the airline from when I said goodbye to my Mum to when my Dads arms embraced me, was not relevant. In my childs mind, I was travelling alone and I loved every minute of it. I remember spending what seemed like hours staring out the window, as we flew over the diverse geography that is New Zealand, my young mind getting lost in the wild adventures of my imagination. I am sure I dreamt of our present day adventures during these times. The journey from Mum to Dad would sometimes take seven hours, three planes and long stopovers in one or two cities. Now I am sure it is much quicker. But I loved these travel days, and would awake before the crack of dawn anticipating it. Jordan awakens on these days with the same excitmement as me as a child. "I love travel days!" he says with a huge smile. I hope his memories of travelling remain as vivid as mine from when I was his age.
I love being in airplanes on long journeys, as it is a place of no time. You are neither here nor there. No mans land. I have difficulty sleeping during these journeys as my mind is often as turbulent as the conditions. It is easy to look back at what you have left and anticipate what lies ahead. And as the distance grows now between us and Asia, I find that the images, memories, and experiences are also growing larger. They are also growing brighter. Technocolour. I wrestle with my desire to sleep from sheer exhaustion and wanting to get my thoughts down on paper. I find myself stringing together words in my head as I wander through different states of consciousness. And after all the adventures we have had these past two months, I am seeing with more clarity, some of the things I may have missed at the time.
Anyway, it's difficult to pinpoint really, and I am still sorting out my feelings for this area of the planet. One needs more than a few months to understand it. To flow with it and not against it. I will most likely be processing and intergrating for some time. I know the boys will. Who knew that Ben would want to live forever in Nepal. I did not see that coming, but now I totally get it. He feels more himself there, no barriers, no competions with peers, no stress to be good at everything. No malls. No "stuff". No subliminal and blatant messages telling you you should be better than what you are. A place to just be be. To be a human "being" - not a human "doing". Or a human "getting". It will be interesting to see if these seeds that have been planted in him will grow, and in what direction. My intuition tells me that he will return one day to work with children.
So as we move towards the last half of our journey, back to my home country of New Zealand, and leave Asia behind, I do so with a heavy heart. I have moments when tears just cannot be held back. This overwhelming feeling of emotion swells in me like the biggest of waves, before it crashes to the shore ... And then the feeling is gone as quickly as it came. Until the next one... I do not know what I cry for or what why I feel so emotional. I just know it is there and I am processing it alongside the kids. As our plane took off from Kathmandu yesterday, we all looked and felt melancholy as we stared out the window, holding hands, and bid our silent farewells to Nepal, to Asia. Tears fell from my eyes and landed on Jordans arm. He turned his head and looked at me with such wisdom and gave me a big tight hug. That hug said everything. Tears flowed freely from Bens face also, and I knew that we had all been forever changed.