One of my all-time favorite movie scenes is the final three minutes of Love Actually. Do you know the one I’m talking about? It’s where travelers are greeted by family and loved ones as they exit the privy part of the airport that only those with boarding passes can enter. I do have a thing for airports, but I think what draws me to the scene is the value of a tender, excited greeting to the weary traveler. I’ve been on that side many times, a long journey that ends with someone glad to see you. It brings rest to the tired soul.
I recently went on an insanity trip. I live in S. Africa, and I went to the states for a week. To be exact, I was in country for 6 days. Do you know how many days I spent getting there and back? Three…one day to get to Texas, six days in Texas, and two days to get home. Told you I was insane.
As I sat in Heathrow Terminal 5, a place that has become all too familiar since living in S. Africa, my eyes happened upon people trying to sleep in uncomfortable plastic chairs, frantic travelers running to make their flight, a gal who didn’t speak English as her first language trying to explain to the British Airways agent at the gate that her family was on their way, others sitting and enjoying conversation and coffee, while others tried to pass the time in other ways. Some looked rested as if just beginning their journey. Others, like me, looked frazzled and weary as if their journey couldn’t end soon enough. There was one common thread, though, that wove us all together. There was a destination for all of us and Terminal 5 was merely the launchpad to get us there. It was our in transit. Isn’t that crazy? That for one brief period of time you can have something so random in common with a bunch of strangers?
We all want to arrive at the destination. It’s like the sweet cherry on top. However, the journey is what gets us there. If we rush it, we might miss the lessons that will help us on future destinations.
Besides, the in transit journey can be fun if we’re not so focused on the destination that we miss it. The people you meet, the conversations you overhear, the unidentifiable airplane food that goes into your mouth, oh, the stories I could tell, but that’s a post for another time.
Grow in the journey. Savor the excited embraces at the destination.