Where is it going?

During the evenings when I’m watering in the backyard, I’ll often hear the distant sound of a passing airplane overhead. Not a small two or four-seater, but instead the kind that speaks of some sort of great journey ahead — the ones that hold a few hundred people.

The few times I’ve flown to Vegas out of LAX, I’ve come to know the large, sweeping left-hand turn that happens once the plane reaches the shoreline. It keeps the Palos Verdes Peninsula in its view, loops back across southern Los Angeles county, over Orange County and comes up diagonally across Anaheim. I don’t know for sure where the planes are going, as I only have Vegas as a point of reference for the route that I see above. I’m quite sure they could be going beyond — or maybe they’re just skirting around a storm or other weather instead of flying in a more direct, due-easterly manner to some other city.

Tonight, I watched one fly overhead and continue in that familiar northeastern arc. I watched one last week, but looked away for a bit too long during watering and lost view of it entirely. This evening, I kept an eye on it and at one point couldn’t tell whether I was still watching it, or if the twinkle of the plane’s white, flashing lights was instead a star coming out to play and readying itself for its nightly twinkling. The now speck-of-a-plane was the faintest gray or pale blue you can imagine, depending on which color the brain wanted to see; the sky was playing that same game.

I likened the dance between the plane and the sky to that of my goals, my hopes, my dreams. Last week, I took my eyes off it and it all but vanished. I couldn’t remember the exact point in the sky where I last saw it, and finding its location once again was impossible. It was gone.

Tonight, I kept my eyes on it and followed it until I could no longer — the very thing I know that I have to do with anything I want to undertake in life but which, lately, is trying my patience. Avert my eyes, let my focus lapse and I risk losing the dream forever. Follow it relentlessly and, in the end, the result will be what it should — but without following it non-stop, the dream stands little chance of becoming reality.

Tonight I am thankful for the airplane’s reminder that if I want a great journey ahead, I just need to maintain my focus. If I wonder where my dream is going, the first thing is to confirm it’s still squarely on my radar. Sure, my ultimate end point may be different than the one I see in my mind’s eye, but regardless of where I end up, it’s sure to be an adventure along the way.

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