subject line: an open letter to airports


up in the clouds

I’ve been through airports a lot lately. This is probably because the idea of coming and going has become one of my closest friends. This friend of mine has been both the life and death of me. And today I realized that this nomadic friend, well she lives in every airport I’ve ever traveled to. The terminals, the gates, the security checks; those are her kingdoms. She’s the reigning queen there. And me? I’m just a guilty subject of hers.

I realized today that I think I may actually be jealous of airports themselves. They get to host so many people with so many places to be and people to see. They wave goodbye and embrace hello. They are the beginning and the end of every good thing. Every vacation, every visit to a loved one, every successful business trip, every return home. And you know what makes me jealous the most? They never hold onto anything or anyone too tightly.

I think that airports are like the last bit of daylight before the sun sets, but they are also the promise that the sun will rise again in the morning. When I see travelers of all demographics in this state of vulnerability, I see hope. There in those gates waiting to board sit people in what I believe is their most raw state of being. As we sit in those uncomfortable, thin leather seats, we are awaiting some kind of change. We are waiting to leave because we are going somewhere new or we are returning home. But this is the arena of the waiting game that I once wrote about before. The tickets have been purchased, transportation from the airport has been arranged, and now, we simply wait. And I think that even though some of us appear impatient, deep down we are all happy to be in the airport. Because the airport is the final step. It’s a whisper in our ears saying, “you are almost there; just sit tight a little bit longer.”

I look around at the airport and this is exactly what I see; I see individuals who are in their final step. They committed to the job. They took a leap of faith to surprise their loved one. They splurged on a vacation to Disneyland for their children. They made the decision to come home. Whatever it was, these people committed. They bought their tickets. They got themselves here. They are almost there.

I guess what this really was was a desire to send a message of love to all of those traveling in airports. I’m proud of you. I love watching you be daring and bold. It makes me want to be more daring and bold. And to the airport, I love you. Thank you for housing the bold. Thank you for making the people who just can’t stop coming and going feel a little bit less alone. I want to be more like you. I really do.