Arden and I were traveling for 19 hours from the time we left our home in Carnation to when we finally were able to rest at our hotel in Florence Italy. We were exhausted and excited to finally be at our destination.
The journey can be daunting. Some people recently confided to me that they wished they could go to Italy as well, but they don’t see how they could tolerate the trip. I don’t know how to respond. I am sad for them that they won’t have these same amazing opportunities and I commiserate with them that the journey is difficult.
While sitting in two different airports during that period, I observed that most people seemed to be mechanically waiting for the next thing to happen on their trip. Mindlessly tolerating their journey, I believe they missed witnessing some glorious moments, such as seeing a toddler pushing her grandmother’s wheelchair toward the gate. Her mom and dad were close at hand, ready to jump in, if assistance was needed, but that little girl experienced the joy of serving someone she loved at a very young age. The look on her tiny face was inspiring.
Arden and I saw a woman running to get on the tram heading to our gate. Once the doors closed, we overheard a white-haired older flight attendant commit to helping the traveler get to her gate. As soon as the doors opened they both sprinted up the stairs and around the corner. A couple of hours later we met that same flight attendant greeting us at the door of our plane. Sadly she reported that the woman had missed her flight after all, but she got her to the help desk so she could rebook a flight. To me the important thing was that someone else noticed the travelers plight and attempted to help. Even though the flight missed, we witnessed one person unselfishly caring for another person.
On the small jet from Amsterdam to Florence there was an extended family group seated around us. Out of 100 passengers there were 30 individuals, little children, teenagers, grandparents, aunts and uncles; all joyfully talking to one another, moving seats after takeoff, sitting together, standing around blocking the center aisle, passing babies back and forth. Obviously they were all traveling together. I didn’t understand the language they were speaking but the excitement was tangible. I don’t know the purpose of their trip and the source of their joy, it could have been leaving the rain of Amsterdam for the sun in Florence. They could be traveling to a family wedding or a funeral, but whatever the occasion, their joy was palpable and it lifted my spirits too.
Too often when faced with experiences that we just want to get through, so we can move on, we can miss witnessing amazing moments. Learn to become aware. Look up from your phone, tablet or other device. Notice the miracles happening around you. I did today and it made my own long journey more joyful.
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