A Long Way Back

The flight from Hawaii to Washington is not very long, relative to the distances some of my friends on the east coast or in Asia have to travel, but as short as the five-to-six hour plane ride is, it can seem like a lifetime. Because I can’t sleep on planes, I’m usually bored by the time the plane lands, having exhausted one or two movies, two or three albums, and a fair amount of trips to the lavatory. Though, of course, a part of the reason the trip can seem so long is due to the fact that it is a trip away from home.

For me, the return marks a leave-taking that never seems to get easier. All I’m carrying is a carry-on, but the weight is somehow more. Did we know this when we were high school seniors looking to get away for a change? Maybe. So it goes.

But as sad as leaving one place is, the trip is also a return to another place, a place of learning and friendship, a place that pushes students to grow intellectually and personally. So that when we return home, we’re a little older, a little wiser, and a bit more appreciative of what it means to be back.

As I leave behind the setting sun, whose light illuminates every groove upon the glass window to my left, I know that, to return, we must first away. Flying to Tacoma, I know that no sooner will I have landed than I will be finishing finals and chasing the setting sun to get back home before it’s dark with more reasons to return.

The Long Return