I just rode in a small airplane from Covallis, Oregon to Albany, Oregon– something I’ve never done even though I’ve lived in the area my entire life. My friend from Logsden flew his Cessna 182 over to pick me up at the Corvallis Airport, which is only 11 minutes from my downtown apartment. It took us each the same amount of time to get to the Corvallis Airport from our respective locations! I walked out onto the airplane parking area, hopped in and we flew to Albany for Chinese food.
After dinner, he flew us over my childhood home on Eicher Road, East of Albany and I hardly recognized it because we were traveling so fast; it didn’t seem like we could have reached it so soon. But there it was: Eicher’s Feedlot, between the two bends in the road and Cox Creek (where the Great Blue Herons nest every year). In those brief moments, it felt as if I was looking into a play house. My mind began to re-enact every scene from the first 12 years of my life.
When I sent the aerial photo to my family, my Dad’s wife Jann said, “Flying in a small plane changes the perspective, doesn’t it?” Yes. And at this point in my life, I feel like just the right amount of distance from what worried me or obsessed me during the past 10 years is helpful. Like being in my friend’s airplane allowed me to see the farm as a whole place (instead of small parcels of land, creek and buildings), the past 2 years have allowed me to step back and see my adult life as a whole: a challenging learning experience filled with joy and pain.
I had been lost in the pain for so long, I didn’t think I would find the end of it. But I think I can see it now, thanks to a new perspective.