“We put our feet just where they had to go”

20 Oct

*Written a while ago as a draft and forgot to post*

If my feet could tell you about the last two days, they would not speak kindly of me.  They would be on the war path, if they still had the strength to follow it.

After discovering there were problems with our visas, six of us waited expectantly to hear if we would be boarding the plane to Ukraine despite the errors.  Surrounded by our ungodly amounts of bulging luggage, we sat on the cold airport floor, each absorbed in our own internal monologues.  If we had actually made it to Ukraine and done this, an old lady probably would have scolded us for “freezing our ovaries.”  (Apparently a common Ukrainian concern.)  Megan, Meaghan, Sara, Andrea, and Kari sat with me as we waited to hear whether I would be traveling with them to the country we’ve been yearning to see, or saying goodbye just a day after being reunited.  Tension ran high and conversation ran low.

The verdict came in, and six of us were flying to D.C. rather than Ukraine.

It was another 30-45 minutes before we found out our flight was in another five hours, and that we had to move ourselves and our packed up lives from terminal eight to terminal one.  We hauled 13 rolling suitcases, pulling five of them.  We pushed two luggage carts, our patience, and roughly 30 elevator buttons.  We carried two purses, two canvas bags, one messenger bag, and our government passports.  Each of us pushed, pulled, slid, kicked, tugged, shoved, tossed, lifted, and dragged our body weight in luggage from one end of the airport to another.

We held the responsibility of getting from one big city to another, following plans relayed to us moment by moment.

Finally checking the two bags that held my material life for the coming two years, I thought to myself, How much does a life weigh? My shoulders ached in response.

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