02 Nov With Gratitude for Where We Are
WHILE STANDING IN LINE to pass through security at the San Francisco airport, the man behind me remarked in a sarcastic tone, “this must be the peak of human existence.”
I turned around. He smiled when I realized he was talking to me, or perhaps anybody willing to listen. I replied, “just taking it all in strides, my friend.”
My response was reflexive; I don’t know exactly what I meant. Still, it felt right, and he seemed to agree.
I think I meant that it’s not so bad to be one in the mass, to flow with the tide and allow ourselves to enjoy it.
What is there to rush off to?
I’m looking out of the large glass window by my gate, watching the planes return through the dark grey sky.
I enjoy this time to relax, listen to music, write and read, and let my mind drift.
It’s easy to think about what I need to do when I get home, what I need to do this week, this month. But that only adds unneeded stress. The things that need to get done will; what’s the use of worrying?
I strive to be here, where I am, no matter where that is.
This is presence — but I also see it as curiosity.
It doesn’t matter exactly where we are or what we’re doing physically, as long as we’re truly there.
Look around, be curious — what do you notice happening around you?
Maybe the experience of looking out the window and watching these marvels of machinery come and go is the peak of human existence.
I’m with thousands of random people, getting on planes and traveling to different corners of the world. We might be going home or traveling somewhere we’ve never been.
That is damn exciting.
But this time, the in-between, the coming and going and waiting and thinking — this is an experience unto itself to be appreciated.
And that’s what we should do, right? Enjoy the time we have, enjoy where we are, savor this moment of being alive.
We’re all here together, going through this thing. Our masks are on. I can’t see much of your face, but I can look into your eyes.
I see a human being in there, looking for connection, just as I am. Just because we’re closed off physically doesn’t mean we can’t connect. Maybe that’s all the man really wanted.
Perhaps I should have said more.
This experience is life; this experience is part of our story, as individuals and as a collective.
Maybe this is the peak of human experience, because we’re here, together, getting through it. The world is changing — will we be a part of that change?
Will we allow ourselves to adapt and be a force for good in this new reality?
Yes, my friend, all we can do is take it all in strides. Enjoy every step of the journey. Slow down when you can.
Allow your mind to drift.
I look at the hills in the distance and wonder what’s out there in the shadows.
I watch the people with their orange glowing sticks and floppy hair guiding me as I take off into the sky. And then, I sit in the plane and move on, with nothing but gratitude for the moment that I’m in.