The plane takes off in a torrential down pour. As the engines struggle to rise the wet plane above the ground, the flooding is visible from the fields to the roads, drowning in ever expanding puddles, no respite from the continuing onslaught of rain.
The turbulence starts as the plane cuts it's way through the clouds. The cabin lights are turned off, leaving us to the dreary darkness of storm clouds.
Dropping, shaking, rattling.
Air pockets play tricks with our down force, giving us brief snippets of weightlessness.
Common, just get past these clouds.
I stare into the grey abyss outside the small window. Sometimes seeing the airline name on the tip of the wing, sometimes seeing it disappear behind a thick blanket of congested sky.
Dropping, shaking, rattling.
Tension rises in the cabin as the turbulence worsens and we keep swallowing our stomachs from the drops.
The sky is nearly black now and doom seems to swallow the entire plane. The feeling of uneasiness is palpable.
I keep my eyes peeled out the window, waiting for my favorite part--that moment when the plane exits the clouds and emerges into clear, blue skies and a brilliant sun.
The Italians start to pray aloud and just as we hit the last air pocket, it happens. The darkness suddenly dissipates; thick fog becomes nothing but wisps of mist and the glowing sun illuminates the bright blue sky.
Ah, smooth sailing ahead.
I take a breath of relief as the plane stabilizes to a steady path. I look back down on the thick layer of clouds we just fought our way through and I'm overcome with emotion. I've left the turbulent clouds like I've left my turbulent life--my turbulent Italy. Because this is my flight to a new start--a new life. I felt this heavy burden lift from my shoulders as if the heartache and struggle of my previous five years was left in that thick, dark storm below.
I'm struck by the significance of this moment. Life can often be just like this--turbulent, rocky, dark and it can be hard to see clearly. Doom can settle in and no matter what you do it seems to just get worse. But in times like these, you just have to be faithful that there are clear, blue skies ahead--you just need to keep climbing.
For me, the last few months in Italy have been very dark and turbulent. At times hopeless, at times promising. But as soon as a positive reason to remain appeared, I hit an 'air pocket' and dropped. But I have been pushing forward, determined to change course and rise above the storm clouds.
With the amazing support and generosity of my friends and family, I bid farewell to Italy and made it to blue skies. I am positive about my future, completely trusting in the idea that everything will work out for the best.
Smooth sailing ahead...
"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can beat all obstacles in my way..."