Baggage Claim

I’m at the airport.  I’m only waiting for someone to arrive I’m not
actually going anywhere.  It’s a unique perspective, waiting. Typically at the airport, you’re hurried and anxious.  You have security screening and
baggage checking, you have to locate your gate and pray the screaming
baby you pass is on another flight.  Today, however, I am onlairport-architecture-dawn-227690y a spectator.  I’m an outside observer and what I see is beautiful.

Cars pull up to the curb and families step out.  Travelers with their
baggage smile broadly and hug their loved ones.  They lean down and kiss the
small children and caress the infants.  An elderly father extends his hand to his grown son for a handshake only to be pulled in for a hug as both men laugh.

Ahead of me, people are arriving.

They walk out of the baggage claim all
smiles to world outside filled with outstretched arms.  At the end of the roadway, a
young girl holds a small bouquet of flowers for her grandmother.  She
is patient at first as her grandmother slowly makes her way
toward them. Soon her excitement overcomes her and she rushes
towards her grandmother.  Tiny legs eliminate the distance between them in seconds and
she wraps her arms around her grandmother.  They too embrace.

I wonder how many times I’ve passed right through this same display without
blinking.  I sit and think how amazing these moments are and how
wonderful that I’ve caught a glimpse.  A window into a world filled with love and care, excitement and hope for the future,  well-wishes and hearty greetings.

In the moment, I smile. I recognize my wife pulling her too-large suitcase and
smiling through her exhaustion.  And so I too join the cast in this familiar expression of humanity.  I smile and embrace my wife.  As I release her I hope to myself that someone else is waiting for a loved one and notices our embrace, sees the beauty in this
unconventional place and smiles.

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