Friday, June 17, 2011

The Jump Seat


The last few weeks I've felt like Evan and I occupied jump seats in the belly of some military plane, awaiting deployment. It's been tedious, uncomfortable, exciting, daunting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

Evan jumped last Monday, flying to Alaska to lead a summer's worth of packrafting courses. My turn isn't for another week, when I head to Scandinavia for field work that lasts until mid-August. Two months apart-- that's an awfully long time in the air and then there's the whole finding our way back to each other once we land. We both have a lot of jumps under our belts, but that doesn't mean any of this is easy. This is only our second tandem dive towards earth.

The plane's engines drone-- the white noise of mundane logistics like a recycling run to the dump, buying compactor bags and making sure there's someone to mow the lawn while we're gone. Right around the corner though is the moment when I'll step out into space, feel the adrenaline rush and surrender to the adventure ahead. I am trying to catch cat naps, do some light reading and fuel up on comfort foods while I can. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too old for this and other times I hope I never am.

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