It’s nearly Easter. Or, if you’re part of the more traditional church, it IS Easter – Maundy Thursday, although I forget what Maundy means and I forget why it’s significant these days But I don’t want to blog about that, anyway. I should blog about Easter, but I’ll get to that later. Today it still feels like days…decades even…away.
Because Today I am going on an areoplane (Megan claps hands with joy like an excited toddler)! I LOVE travel. I LOVE airports, and I LOVE adventures. This particular aeroplane isn’t taking me particularly far, just to Melbourne. Well, not JUST to Melbourne, it’s taking me to see Alison, my very favourite sister-in-law (yes of course I’m allowed to say that), Simmone, my long-lost primary school buddy, and…wait for it…Paul Simon.
YES, I said PAUL SIMON. As in Simon and Garfunkel. As in Graceland. Bridge over Troubled Waters. THAT Paul Simon.
I’ve never been to a concert in Melbourne before. It seems to be some kind of rite of passage for Tasmanians. The first step is seeing your first concerts locally, getting all dolled up when big name visiting acts come, and then, when you’re slightly older and slightly wealthier, when the big name artists come to the mainland you fly over and see them there. Not me though. I missed U2. Didn’t bother with Duran Duran. Didn’t think Pink. It’s not necessarily that the desire wasn’t there, but the cost of the airfare on top of concert tickets was prohibitive. Bass Strait, the stretch of water that separates Tasmania from the Australian Mainland, is expensive. Bass Strait is my troubled waters.
Some people don’t feel that. Some people travel it all the time for work, for pleasure, for any number of reasons and they don’t think twice about it. I used to be a little bit like that – over for work twice a year or so – I always thought about it though. I always, however much I kept it hidden, felt the joy of freedom, of escape from island living, the awe and wonder and sense of incredible privilege that I was one who could go. Even though I had to come back, even though it was only for a few days at most, I was one who could go.
The feeling is always there, buried deep in the back of my skull. The One Who Can Go. The One Who Can’t. Everything about me defined by those troubled waters.
While this is far from my first time off the island, it’s my first time off the island for anything like this. It feels good. It feels fitting that it should happen on an Easter weekend. I first encountered God on an Easter weekend, many many years ago. And it was every Easter weekend, for many many years that I went away, and remembered that thing that God did for me, that whole death of Jesus on the cross, rescuing me from my island living, being my bridge over troubled waters.
And so, today in the frantic busyness of packing precious little in a bag for an aeroplane and the joy and wonder of family and friends and last-minute chocolate buying and making sure I’m there on time, today I will stop, and say Thank You. And remember.