Journalling a Journey


I am a hypocrite of the highest order...

I'll come back to that later, but first to say that I haven't posted anything for a week because I have been working flat out to get ready for my US exchange in Grand Rapids... clearing my desk... preparing material to take with me... cleaning house (well Sally largely did that, doing without sleep in the process)... preparing material for our exchange partners etc. Add to that the fact that I had another funeral (people die at the most inconvenient of times), had to dash back and forward to doctors and hospital with Owain (who not only has a broken arm but also tonsillitis) and I just ran out of time to even look at the internet, never mind post anything.
But now I am safely ensconced here in Grand Rapids, and I thought I would start as I mean to go on by posting some reflections... And in this case it doesn't reflect too well on me.
You see, I'm forever telling people things like "The journey is as important as the destination..." and that journey or piligrimage is an important concept for the church to get hold of... that's one of the things I hope to share with my new friends here at Faith UMC in Grand Rapids, and why I've brought them a copy of the above picture of the Bantry Boat, by Wildgoose Studios as a wee gift, remembering a previous generation of Irish pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic to America... but in a Currach rather than an Airbus 330.
That is all very well and good, but when it comes to real, honest to goodness journeys, such as the 22 hour trek it took to get here, I am a complete bundle of neuroses... and I make life almost totally unpleasant for everyone around me. Starting out 40 minutes late from home didn't help, cutting short our handover meeting with our partners in Dublin Airport... 45 seconds as opposed to 45 minutes. But check in went well and I calmed down, until, as we were descending into Washington DC, I realised that we hadn't been given boarding cards for the next leg of our journey to Detroit. This then precipitated 45 minutes of anxiety on the queue through immigration and customs... But in the end I learned that they don't do through boarding on United and the issuing of boarding passes was straightforward... But by that stage we only had 25 minutes to get through security before our flight was due to board, which led to me descending into the sort of person you really don't want to be around... I would have stampeded over my mother to get through security and onto those peculiar shuttles that ferry you around Dulles International, but everything was conspiring against us making our flight... the man in front of us had lost his ID, the security men wanted to swipe Owain's plastercast but there were no machines available... Everything was leading to raised blood-pressure and missing that flight, until, when we got to the gate, we learned that the flight had only just been delayed and would now not be departing for a further 2 hours.
All that anxiety for nothing.
Yet isn't that always the way.
So, remember, the journey is as important as the destination - therefore, travel well.
But if you remind me of this blog the next time I am wound up over travel arrangements, I might well do something unpleasant with an itinerary...
ps. My grateful thanks to all those who helped on the journey on both sides of the Atlantic.

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