Airports are a feeding frenzy for perspective seekers. I love airports. I do. Always have. Terminals pulse, day or night, and the tingling vibrations that match the flickers of the fluorescent lights always remind me that I’m going somewhere. It makes me feel alive – part of something, dare I say, bigger.
Last night, my wife and I walked towards the baggage claim. Red-eyed, we pushed our stroller – the one that failed the most recent crumb emissions standards – through the terminal and had a conversation that went something like this:
Wife: Isn’t it amazing how many people there are?
Me: I know, this terminal is packed.
Wife: No, in the world. I mean, we are really just so small in the grand scheme of things aren’t we?
Me: Oh right. I guess so.
Me: (barely audible – mumbled) Oh snap, perspective. I love airports. I should blog about…
It really is amazing how the zig-zagging masses can trivialize my list of to-dos, work anxieties, and really just the laundry list of inconsequential ‘things’ that tend to stress me out – and at the same time I’m puzzled how the airport ritual can also make me feel like I’m part of something much bigger. On some days, it feels like the world’s 7 billion people are taking off their shoes to go through security just ahead of me. On others, I can navigate the corridors and change continents without even breaking a sweat.
The perspective gained last night is pretty clear. It’s true, we are but one tiny piece in something much larger, but we are also a larger piece in something much smaller – our world, our lives, and our opportunity to make the most out of the time we have. At the airport, there are departures and arrivals, hellos and goodbyes, tears of happiness and unfortunately despair – and it’s this antithesis flow that probably makes me feel so alive. Because that’s life, isn’t it?
And for me, holding my wife’s hand and pushing our son beyond the crumb trail behind us, one slice of certainty emerged: whether I’m coming or going, the only world that matters to me is the one that is defined by the moments that make us a family.