By Tash McGill
I never get sick of plane take-offs and landings. The view from 30,000ft isn’t bad either, but ascending and descending, those transitional movements through vertical and horizontal space is intoxicating. I like this view of the world when I usually spend so much time with my feet on the ground. I like that I can be simultaneously moving further away and closer to something. I like take-off so much that I sometimes find myself looking forward to terrible airline coffee because it reminds me I’m in transition to someplace new.
Some people think of summer as the destination, like a reward for a hard year’s work but I think it’s a transitional season. It’s the marker between school years, when family and community memories are made. Summer is a change in routine from the rest of the year, which may offer a different perspective for a couple of months but is still just as busy, if not more so than any other part of the year. Running extra activities and programs as well as planning for the year to come.
Everyone knows that transitions are not usually easy but they are essential. Where I’m from, youth ministry stops over summer, with the exception of a beach mission trip. We even take a break from church services during the peak of the summer months, which coincide with public holidays. Maybe that is why summer seems like such a transitional time, a chance to get above the clouds and view things from above. Which is probably why I’m thinking about it now, at 30,000ft.
From up here in the clouds, I can see the broader currents shifting the harbor that seemed still like glass when I drove past it on my way to the airport. Up here, I can see the storm cloud out to the west, being pushed inland from the mountain range it formed over. In transition, I see how the landscape is shifting.
Enjoy the change in the view. Even if the view is still busy, fast-paced and with changing faces and circumstances – savor the chance to see things differently.
By the time you get to the end of summer, students you’ve known for years will have grown another foot, moved into new grades at school or left school altogether. Transitions. You may even be thinking about transitions of your own. Change is constant, but change can be as good as a holiday. It’s when we resist transition and change that it can start to feel like swimming upstream.