Can you guess who the "Others" are?

Some people can appear glamorous while they travel.

Others? No.

Some people get manicures before they travel and have tidy sleek black carry-ons that they wheel along behind them, swinging their fresh scented hair in unison with their energetic steps.

Others of us stumble over our four-year-olds who insist on clinging to our legs even while we beg them not to because we are pushing the stroller and will keep bumping into their ankles or getting tangled up if they will not. just. walk.

Some people exit the plane quickly and with dignity, collecting carry-on luggage efficiently and with almost no effort.

Others of us frantically scoop spilled "My Little Pony's" back into their daughter's shoulder bag from the aisle of the plane while bending over their swollen ankles and accidentally kneeling on an old Indian uncle's foot.

Some people sit and swing their crossed ankles while delicately filling out crossword puzzle books or paging through fashion magazines while waiting out a seven hour layover.

Others of us drool onto the vinyl benches while we try to catch up on all the sleep we didn't get while we were on the plane, because our eight-year-old sons decided that sleep is for wimps and all-night airplane gaming is for cool guys.

Some people enter and exit elevators and sky trains with aplomb and grace.

Others of us cannot help screeching, "You're going to get shut in the door if you don't hurry up and get out!" (or in) to at least one of their children every single time, accompanied by racing heart because of a phobia which originated with a demon elevator in Bangkok that didn't have a sensor and really would shut on an unwary child who took longer than five seconds to exit.

Some people sip lattes and eat small pastries without spilling a crumb.

Others of us like to coat the transfer lounge carpet with rice.

Some people travel light.

Others of us carry four instruments and multiple cameras. We pack all the school books we need for a year and have to repack at the check-in desk because two of the suitcases were over regulation weight. We count to twelve everywhere we go just to make sure all our carry-on luggage is there.

Some people are bored.

Others of us are never, ever bored.

Some people aren't as blessed with traveling companions as we are.

We left on the 2:00 AM flight to Taiwan last night, flew for thirteen hours, and are almost at the end of our seven-hour layover to get on our flight to Bangkok. And though I joke about how disheveled and not sleek we are, I have to say- these kids have been absolutely amazing.


Written on a ferry

Today is traveling day. Boats, vans, airplanes, taxis, until we are home in Goa. Anything we would have wished for, anything left undone we have to roll up and take it along with us across the earth, because it's time to go.

I am so thankful for the time we had in Canada and the U.S. this summer.

To recap:

April: two weeks in Thailand and two weeks in Victoria. Over the mountains and a few days in Kelowna.

May and June: a few days in Portland and Eugene, Or, two weeks at the ranch on Salmon Creek with beloved tj and Mark, and two weeks in Marin County with beloved B and K. A week in Santa Cruz with wonderful Ian and Christy, ten hot days in Sacramento, being convinced that we should live in Santa Cruz for awhile, finding an apartment in Santa Cruz that would take us for only three months. General craziness.

July, August, September: a wedding in Oregon, moving into our apartment, another wedding (where Chinua took the photos) and life in Santa Cruz.

And just recently, three more weeks in Canada, in Vancouver and Victoria.

It's been a busy summer.





I don't want to forget:

Sitting on a bayside park bench in a chilly wind with my mom. The sun glittering on the bay and trying to warm us. The kids tearing around from play structure to play sculpture, getting the lay of the place before descending, scaling an octopus and a sea monster on the very same day. Slicing cheese and handing it out on pieces of apple or cracker, having short conversations with other parents, a friendly golden retriever, my mom sitting with her feet tucked in and her hood up. Autumn swiftly approaching, the dear small sentences my mom and I say to one another.

Later, running along the beach in the dusk, the mallards plunging to the bay water, splashing into the great still mirror. Woodsmoke in the air, my footsteps and heartbeat and breath in rhythm with one another, the other walkers and runners saying hello, bright Jupiter hanging suspended. These aren't things you can pay for. The tiny lighthouse warning small boats, the curving blue plain of Canadian sky. A blue heron, gliding above the water! He dips his wings and pulls the night air behind him, reaches forward and does it again. He is so beautiful as he lands on a rock and turns his eye towards me that I wish I could truly enter his regard, that someone like me could be important to him, but of course I am not, so I turn around and keep on running, into the deepening night.