Our dear friends Betsy and Sam recently moved to a beautiful area in Georgia. Larry and I just got back from visiting them for a few days. On the way to the airport, to fly home on Saturday evening, we hit a major traffic jam. By the time we got to the Atlanta airport we were only about 40 minutes from departure time. Of course the lines in the airport were REALLY long. Once we finally got through screening, ran down the escalator carrying our bags, and got off the underground train at our stop at “Concourse C”, we had about 15 minutes left. We ran up the escalators carrying our bags and then Larry, God bless him, sprinted to the gate with me about 40 feet behind him. We got onto the plane just before they closed the cabin door. It certainly wouldn’t have been a huge hardship to stay overnight if we had missed the plane, but we had a commitment to be with our grandkids the next morning and I already missed them so much. I’ve run to catch flights before but this was the closest I’ve ever been and actually made it.
For many of us, air travel isn’t much fun unless you’re flying business class or first class. We can be stuck sitting closer to perfect strangers than we sit with people we love. It can be hot one minute and cold the next, you could have a person next to you who snores or brought a pastrami sandwich or wants to share her life story. We’re pretty much powerless…there’s nowhere to go and we don’t have “control” over too many things (not the best situation for a type A person like me). On Saturday night however, we were just happy to be on that plane. One of the interesting things about this flight home was the staff. The three attendants were amazing. Earl, Jade and Rhoda (yep, I know their names because I’m going to write a note to Delta and hope it gets read) found places for our bags without a bit of attitude. They checked to make sure we were settled in and even brought us water right away (without asking) because we were probably (just a little) out of breath.
We said a little prayer of thanks for making the flight and settled in. From my window seat, at 13,000 feet, there was a stunning view. The sun was just beginning to set and the colors danced across the sky like a beautiful painting. I’m still astounded that hot air balloons, helicopters and airplanes can travel through the air, so no matter how many times I see the world this way I’m in awe. Then as we climbed higher still, we were cruising above the most amazing white clouds I’ve ever seen. There was blue all around us but below us floated billowing clouds that looked like fluffy pieces of pure white down. It was wonderful and awe-inspiring and sacred. I stared at it wanting to sear into my brain so that I could recall it on demand. When we’re grounded we tend to think of the clouds in the sky as “up there”. From that vantage point they were “down there”, like the world was upside down. We have such a limited perspective on life sometimes.
I started thinking. I thought about Betsy and how much I was going to miss seeing her regularly, but how fortunate we are to live in a place where we can simply call each other on the phone and share our lives with each other. I thought about how blessed I am to have a husband who will run those 40 feet ahead of me. I thought about the different places my daughters have lived and how blessed I am to have them nearby. I thought about where their roads may still lead them. I slipped into a bit of worry– what if Sara or Erin moves away again? What if I don’t have the “instant access” I am blessed with now? I thought about what there is to lose. I worried about the future instead of rejoicing in the “now”. I thought about the irony of that since I TRULY believe in “living in the now” because the future is, well, in the future. I thought about my grandchildren and how much my life changed with Lauren and Ethan in it. I thought about how much joy those two little people have brought to my life. I thought about how darned amazing our planet is. I thought about how much I have.
Sitting there, holding in my heart all the blessings I know I have, I felt so big. Sitting there with the vastness of the sky around me, knowing how big our universe is, I felt so small. I was given the gift of seeing the world from a different point of view.
We landed and, after every other passenger was off the plane, made our way to the back where one of our bags was stored. We weren’t in a rush. I knew that all those we love would be asleep, or close to asleep, by then. We thanked the kind people on the plane, and leisurely made our way down the escalator, and out into the dark night. We drove home and talked about our wonderful visit with our dear friends, we talked about the next day and the grandkids and soccer and grilling out and planting the garden….”normal” things that we’re blessed to have at the center of our conversations.
When we arrived home, there was a note from Lauren and Ethan on the kitchen counter. It said “Welcome Home. We missed you on your trip. We love you!! Love, Lauren and Ethan to Nana + Pop-Pop”.
What would it be like if you could view YOUR world from a different vantage point?
What would it be like if you could freeze everything for a moment and observe your life and SEE what you have?
What would it be like if you could slow down enough to be grateful and peaceful?
What would it be like if you took the time to recognize who and what is truly important?
Wishing you a week filled with adventure and observation and peace,
©2015 Peace Full Home/Intentional Living
ps. from “The Checklist From Z to A”:
#7 Use your mind; you’ve heard the expression “it’s a terrible thing to waste”. Think outside the box; exercise both your left (more linear thinking) AND right (more creative thinking) brain. Don’t just fill your head with mindless shows or books; honor the amazing abilities YOUR mind has!