Sacred Places Journal
28 October, 2001: San Francisco Footnote
We were deplaning when it suddenly clicked in my head--my seat mate all those ten-plus hours across the Atlantic had been an air marshall: something about his casual, but action-ready clothes, his military bearing, his courteous but business-like attitude, and his choice of intelligent reading material. Whether or not I was right it gave me a sense of security.
Well, I would probably have made it, in spite of the fact that we were 20 minutes late landing, except for all those marvelous rambles I had enjoyed across foot-and-mouth land. So while the customs and Department of Agriculture people ogled my Christmas cakes (absolutely no meat in them) and cleaned and disinfected my shoes (I could perform surgery wearing those shoes) the last flight for Boise departed.
Concerned friends in England had worried over conditions I might be returning to, but I was certain that I would find the mood calm, if sobered, but still smiling--as I did. And I also found airports and planes empty to the point of feeling spooky. A pilot from Portland said his plane was 40% full. An airport shuttle driver said he had had six people all day. Still, the lines were long for the extra-careful security checks.
Home: Boise in Autumnal Splendour
It's Sunday morning now and in a few minutes I'll make my delayed landing in Boise--just in time for church. It was always so good to see the Stars and Strips abroad--but somehow the flags look brighter, braver here. And our spaces are so wonderfully immense, and our buildings and streets so clean! God bless America and give us the vision to carry forward the strong heritage we have inherited from all those Celtic and Anglo-Saxon saints, the martyrs, monks and ministers who secured the faith for their time in circumstances as difficult or worse than those we face. That is our task.