The whole universe is based on rhythms.
"The whole universe is based on rhythms. Everything happens in circles, in spirals."
~ John Hartford
I walked off the plane today at 12:05am local time, and the smell of India hit me like a ton of bricks. Memories from almost 7 years ago of how I felt and the people I met and the adventures came rushing back as I walked the long halls towards customs, savoring the realization that I'd arrived.
Back up to six and a half years ago, on a hot summer night in June, and I was getting off a plane in this same airport, but I was dazed, shocked, and felt completely alone. I remember floating through customs hazily, and then arriving at the exit outside, with piles of people - drivers and families, waiting for their disembarking passenger. I remember, after having found my driver, leaning my head against the window of the car, trying my best to stifle the lump in my throat as I thought, "My God, what have I done."
Tonight, however, I felt vastly different. As I walked through the halls to customs and baggage claim tonight, I felt upbeat and aware. And I gave myself a pep talk. For this trip, I had made the arrangements myself, and felt a little less certain about the solidity of the plans I had made. In this country, assurances from one person don't necessarily mean that everything is official, so I was hoping that the assurances I had received (many of them, actually) were going to be valid when I tried to check in. But I was feeling good, and I had a plan B if things didn't work. As all these memories come rushing back to me, I had realized why I felt so great this time. Being in this city six and a half years ago, at that time in my life, contributed hugely to who I've become, and so being back here is incredibly special to me. I know that as an adult now, not only could I handle whatever issues might come my way with far more command and confidence, but that this is the very city that gave me that confidence to begin with. In a way, that made it feel like more of a homecoming - like paying hommage to this facet of my personhood.
Everything ended up working out fine - my incredibly hospitable drivers came in and helped me get checked in, my booking was confirmed, and before I knew it, I was being ushered into a room. At this point six and a half years ago, I was panicked (still...), and on the verge of tears (if not crying) during all of check in and the following several hours before finally falling asleep. It feels great to not be a mess this time, and to know what to expect.
I am all settled in, family has been contacted and reassured, and I am typing out this post, with some bad american tv and Ella Fitzgerald keeping me company. ;) It feels good to arrive.
My work station tonight: books, chocolate, and sweet beats.