Packing was hard. It always is.
I’m determined a.) to fit everything I need into a carry-on, and b.) to include in my everything books.
Bud lifted my suitcase. “Yours is a lot heavier than mine,” he said.
That’s because of the books.
Two devotionals, four notebook/journals full of important things, my Bible, two books I’m reading, and my Kindle.
But I forgot toothpaste. Bud remembered that.
The only shoes I have are the ones I wore.
One thing that was important to me to bring was a prayer shawl that a friend made for me. On a loom. She made it the color of the ocean. My favorite.
Every time I wrap it around my shoulders, I picture my friend sitting at her loom and weaving. For me.
On the airplane, a young man sat next to me.
“Are you from Syracuse?” he asked. That was where our trip began.
“No, not really,” I said. “Are you?”
He laughed. “No, I am from Mumbai, India,” he said. “I am a student at university.”
“What are you studying?” I asked.
He laughed again. I liked that he laughed so easily. “I am from India,” he repeated. “Computers, of course.”
“Not ‘of course,'” I told him.
We exchanged pleasantries while the flight attendants snapped shut the overhead compartments preparing the plane for departure. His accent was like music; I loved listening to him.
As the engines revved up, I leaned towards Bud and slipped my hand into his. Bud and I watched the runway speed past while on my other side, the young man stared at the seat back ahead of him.
“Do you always hold hands on take-off?” he asked once we were in the air.
It was my turn to laugh. “We rarely travel together,” I told him. “We have a large family.”
He was heading to Austin, Texas for a summer internship and was quite excited about the project he was working on.
“It works with your smartphone,” he said.
“I only have a flip phone,” I told him. “I doubt it works with that.”
“Do you want to see?” he asked, reaching for his backpack.
“I’ve seen smartphones,” I told him. “I just don’t have one.”
But I was mistaken. It wasn’t his smartphone that he wanted to show me. It was a device that works with the smartphone, to wear on your head and slide your phone into and enter a virtual world.
“Like Google glasses?” I asked.
“Kind of,” he replied and began rummaging around in his backpack. He had jammed so much stuff into his pack that he finally apologized. “I do not think I can get it out.”
Apparently, I’m not the only one who struggles with packing.
“It is like a 360 movie,” he explained. “You can turn your head and look around in your app.”
I looked out the window at the earth far below. I didn’t need an app for that.
“It’s very real,” he said.
And I thought about my ocean-colored prayer shawl woven by a friend on a loom. Nothing could be as real as that.
John Baillie prayed, “Let me not go forth to my work believing only in the world of sense and time, but give me grace to understand that the world I cannot see or touch is the most real world of all.”
Somehow these two things are related — his device and my shawl.
Each aids in transport — his to a virtual world, mine to an unseen one.
I think I am the more blessed.