Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
Upon reading today’s #reverb10 prompt, I was immediately thrust back to our trip to Yosemite in the spring. I remember sleeping in our tent cabin in Camp Curry, huddling closer to GP under numerous wool blankets because there were actual coyotes yipping outside, breathing heavily and fearing for my life on the Upper Falls trail (I’ll conquer you next time, trail! Mark my words!), and enjoying a well-deserved glass of wine on the deck of the Wawona Inn after a couple days of grueling hikes. But…well, that is not the story I am going to tell. Nope. Instead, my “moment” is going to seem much more mundane than all these sublime visions of terrible/beautiful nature, certainly tame, and maybe even a little bit boring in comparison. What can I say? I am not Jack London.
One moment that I felt most alive in 2010 was the moment that I stepped off our plane in London last October. This was not a novel experience; I had been to London thrice before, GP and I take an international trip every year (that is what we spend our money on…well, that and wine), and I am no stranger to the deplaning/baggage claim, customs-and-immigration rigamarole. But there’s just something about that second that you’re stepping off a plane that has carried you thousands of miles to a place that you’ve been wishing for that just makes you grateful to be alive, and so thrilled with humanity and technology. We can fly, you think. We can fly, and it is like magic. (Yes, I choose to ignore physics. My life is much more whimsical that way. Flying is magic!)
We stepped off the plane, eager to begin our ten-day break from the rigors of commutes, sitting in front of computers all day, and deciding which Family Guy episode to fall asleep to each nice. I walked down the jetway, clutching my sweaterblanket (seriously, this thing is huge and cozy and wonderful) around me, trying to remember where I had stashed my passport upon departure from our connection in Vancouver. Heathrow, like any airport worth its salt, is a cacophonous blend of public address announcements, fast food odors (or odours, if you prefer. They are foreign, after all), industrial grays, and the occasional clank of a moving walkway (which, if you are wondering, is not a ride. Get out of my way!). It is by no means a sensory pleasure cruise, but this particular blend of sights, sounds, and smells, coupled with the sense of quickly approaching vacation! We’re on vacation! was enough to remind me, after a year of local travel and more than enough school- and work-work, that I feel most alive when I’m exploring and revisiting places that I grew to love years ago. I hope I always feel such a sense of joy and possibility when I travel.