As I stared at the shrinking, shimmering lights of Maryland out the window of the plane, listening to “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” by U2 via the plane’s seat radio, I realized that I’m right where I want to be and where God wants me to be.
A sense of calm came down upon me like fog descending into a valley. Slowly drifting into my life just like the plane taking flight to the evening sky. Calm blue and grays with a fiery orange sunset in the distance. Simply beautiful. I’ve waited for this moment for almost two months. I saw it coming as my end goal and now I’m left feeling like a child on Christmas Eve. The dawn of a new day bringing much excitement and joy into our family’s life.
As the plane tilted to the left, giving me an even better view of the busy streets below, I became even more grateful for this opportunity. An opportunity to focus on my family of four and my relationship with God. The plane then shifted to the right, my head naturally turning with it. I look over at my husband who is seated with my son in the center section of seats. He’s resting his eyes while my son lays quietly next to him, the anticipation of what is yet to come clearly seen in his eyes. My daughter, laying next to me, already asleep from the hours of playing with another little girl in the children’s area of the USO. It was a blessing to cross her family’s path. Though they didn’t continue to Hohenfels, I’m still glad we were able to be in their company while we waited with Chuck, our dog, just outside the doors of the USO at BWI Airport.
Three families, whose devotion to their animals created a bond with complete strangers on the same journey across the Atlantic, sat on a giant bench thirty feet from the door of the USO. Each of us taking turns sitting with our beloved pets so that one of the other family members could go inside and get snacks or a drink or to use the restroom. Each of us exchanging stories of our military experiences gone by.
All of us filled with joy at going on such an adventure.
As the flight continued, the sun far behind us, the plane climbing further into the clouds, then finally, above the clouds, the stars shone bright. Seeing constellations from a new height, made me feel incredibly small yet significant. Throughout all of the moves across states, the country or an ocean, I always feel like I’m home when I can find Orion’s Belt; a constant in an ever-changing military life. Naturally, I crane my neck to see if I can discover Orion’s Belt from the window of a plane. Indeed, I found it.
On clear nights in Germany, I look up to those same stars. My eyes always fixed on Orion’s Belt almost instantly.
Note: I wish that I had more words to describe our journey to Germany. Though this moment happened on December 17th, 2013, I often think about the peace, tranquility, and anticipation that came over me as the plane took its ascent into the air. It’s a moment of reflection, a moment of self-realization. A moment.