Well, the "reconnect tour" is over and I'm on my way.
I am in the Charlotte NC airport right now. I fly to Miami, where I have a 5 hour layover. Time enough to make last minute calls to friends and family, and to finish this blog. Then I fly 8 1/2 hours to London Heathrow where I have a three hour layover and meet up with Dasa and Kelley. Then the 10 hour flight to Chennai, where Ravi will be waiting for us when we arrive at 1:00 AM December 31. Hopefully enough time to take a nap before we see the New Year arrive. I don't usually stay up for the celebrations, but I'm going to try this year!
In the meantime, I am, as always, reflecting on the year past and setting intentions for the year to come. Those of you who know me know that it has been a challenging year for me: health scares, moving out of my beloved Weeping Cherry estates after 22 years, seeing my aspirations for the future kind of fall apart. But the year is ending on an upward trend, and I look forward to 2014 with gratitude for another precious year of life. Through it all, I've had the loving support of friends and family. And when one door has slammed shut, another door has opened! Finally, the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh have helped me to water the seeds of love and gratitude, and not those of bitterness.
I spent the last two days packing, and managed to bring quite a few blankets and sweaters for the people of the Himalayas in my two free bags. I cut it close - one weighed 48.5 lbs. and the other 45.5 lbs. I'm sure I have more stuff than I need, even though I'll be there over four months. (Four months - I still can't believe it!)
In the Miami Airport now. Time to make those phone calls. The next blog will come to you all from India! I will miss you all, and it's good to know you are keeping me company by following the blog. Do keep in touch! I won't have phone service, but I will have access to email most of the time, once I get settled.