I am in a lot of airports for work. In fact, when people ask me where I live, I’ve been known to say “Southwest Airlines,” though I have a second home on Alaska, third on Delta and so on. Airports used to be very grey places, filled with faceless commuters flying here or there… plugged into their iPod, iPad or laptop, and completely disconnected from everyone and everything around them. While I am often one of those plugged in people, I’m making a conscious effort to unplug a little while I travel. After all, work travel sounds exciting, but spending days on end away from the family and in crowded airports can be a drag after a while.
So now I’m looking up instead of looking down. And you know what I’ve seen over these past few months? Airports are often things of beauty or of mystery. Who are all of these people that surround me? That I brush up against as I move through a crowd? Where are they headed, and why? It’s an endless puzzle and the makings of a great story. I love watching the families making their way along; the little ones’ eyes filled with wonder. Who are the business people on the phone, making big deals, and anxious to get home? And what do I look like to all of them? Do they even notice me? It sure is a surprise to many when I catch their eye and smile. Unconsciously, and then consciously, they always smile back. And the airports can be beautiful. I’ve seen murals in Denver; sculptures in Phoenix; birds in flight in Sacramento; and a really kickin’ Harley in Orlando. And I met Sarah – a lovely waitress at the Mexican joint a few days ago. Sarah was a flower in the middle of all that metal and steel. I loved her hair (pictured here) and her sparkle as she sent weary travelers on their way.
So this post goes out to Sarah. Thanks for great service, some funny stories, a fantastic smile… and for reminding me that it’s all a matter of perspective. Life is a beautiful thing, after all