flying to a new place is always exciting and slightly disorienting at the same time.
case in point: last week, i flew from SFO to Cancun, Mexico.
believe it or not, of all the dozens of times i've been to Mexico, this was my first time flying directly into the country itself and not driving. and it was also my inaugural visit south of the border for a reason other than leading/participating in some kind of missions experience/service project. and while i was in Tulum (72 kilometres southeast of Cancun) to co-officiate the wedding of a dear friend (and thus, still officially 'on the job' in that sense), i was also invited there to receive the great gift of simply enjoying the unique and incredible beauty of this part of the world with some of the most amazingly wonderful people i know on this planet.
and i encountered the transcendence of this place while i was still in the air.
as we were making our way south, i looked up from my book mid-paragraph and out the window. and what i saw below me wasn't all that different than what i remembered seeing when i flew into El Paso, TX one sunny, wintry day (en route to yet another service project, this time in Juarez).
a lot of brown, rocky plains.
i glanced back at my book to finish the paragraph.
when i turned my head back to gaze out of the window once again, my mind couldn't fully conceive of what my eyes perceived.
i saw the ocean below and the sky above sparkling in the same spectacular colour.
i saw the sky above and the ocean below bursting in the same brilliant hue.
there was no discernible horizon between them to distinguish the two.
it was a landscape turned dreamscape.
nothing but blue.
i have no photograph of the moment except in my mind because it was so instantaneous and elusive, i'm not sure it actually happened anywhere else but in my mind.
and even if i did somehow manage to snap a photo of it, there's no way a mere picture could contain and convey the breadth of beauty, the depth of dynamism, the grandeur and grace of such an exquisite and earth-shattering epiphany.
all i saw was an upside-down, downside-up, mind-morphing, heart-expanding, soul-saturating, big blue beautiful reality.
a shimmering sky of Hope below.
an overwhelming ocean of Love above.
and an uncontainable, unimaginable, irrepressible, irresistible Presence in the midst of it all, embracing all of life unconditionally, engaging all of life unreservedly, empowering all of life unconstrainedly.
nothing was said, and everything was new.
everything was ablaze, and nothing but blue.
and faster than the appearance of a tachyonic particle, it was gone.
no chance to catch that Breath from beyond, that Ruach of revelation.
and no need to catch it.
because it had already caught me.
to remind me that second glances often reveal first chances to experience eternity.