I seem to have spent a lot of time in airports recently.. I really don’t travel as much as this blog suggests. But I think my muse likes to travel.. so am indulging her..
I love airports. I know some see them as a necessary evil of travel, but I find them mini communities or a microcosm of life. Now of course they are full of people staring at their phones.. but in days gone by, they were exciting places. People didn’t travel as much as we do now. And flying? Well that was luxury. Airports try and capture that, but most of them have turned into malls of various food courts and shops – because we apparently always need to shop…
But I like airports because they are full of people and emotion – meetings, greetings and farewells… I see families, couples, solo travellers. Businesspeople – as they emerge striding from the flash airport lounges, looking important and busy; kids, tired, but full of excitement at the change in routine; honeymooners, oblivious to everyone around them; old married couples, sitting in their comfortable silence that only long years together brings….
Sad farewells, as loved ones leave, maybe for a short time, maybe forever… those last tear-filled hugs and kisses..
Mums giving one last piece of advice; Dads staunchly wondering if their little girl is prepared enough for The World – siblings wondering if The World is prepared for Her… She’s itching to break free and see and taste and discover…
Grandma’s hugging those precious bairns one last time, knowing the next time the bairns will be walking and talking and no longer squishy balls of baby smell. Daughters capturing that image in their memory bank… And breathing a sigh of relief that the visit didn’t go badly, and that Mum almost approves of her parenting.
Toddlers grasping Grandad by the legs, not realising he won’t still be there for horse rides after dinner tonight.. Granddad memorising those handprints… knowing that too soon, that little boy will be 6-foot-tall, and won’t want gramps tossing him in the pool… And Son feeling the weight of being the link between The Old Man, and that 5-year-old, who just won’t sit still… Hoping his dad is proud..
Snot nosed 14-year-old. Wishing everyone would stop fussing. He knows he can get on and off a plane and through an airport unassisted – there’s an app for it if he gets stuck.. Hoping he doesn’t sit next to some boring old person who wants to talk! That’s what the headphones are for…
Mum, leaving her babies for the first time… running through the lists in her head – did she leave enough instructions? How much damage can be done in 2 days? Should she have left a spare dinner in case her flight home Is delayed……. Oh, but won’t those nights with her girlfriends be just the BEST FUN????? She feels 21 again…
Parents, sold up, 3 small kids, hoping this new start with the new job in a foreign clime will work out. Trying to keep their nervousness from the kids, and listening once more to their mums and dads last list of advice…stretching the bond halfway around the world – but modern technology makes that easier – doesn’t it?
And the Welcomes!!!
Smiles! Tears! Banners! Massive hugs! Bags and babies taken from tired arms. Smooches… Grand babies grabbed and squished…. Strong handshakes which give way to bear hugs! With the hint of tears in grey haired men’s eyes…
“Haven’t you grown?” – the inevitable question of the young, who seem to grow a foot a day, when out of sight.
“You’ve lost weight – have you eaten enough?” – to the student, who’s calorific intake has been mainly alcoholic for the term…
“How was it? You have to tell us everything!!”.. to the jetlagged and completely exhausted who just wants a shower and 24-hour sleep..
“Hey Girlfriend! Let’s Par-tay”… to the oh so ready to party mum of 3, on a weekend pass..
“Yo!” – monosyllabic greeting to the equally tall, and gangly friend. No words necessary as they assume the grunting language of the young..
The conversation that reignites from the last meeting, not skipping a beat, nor losing tempo…. Comfortable as old slippers.. a history enfolded in one eternal conversation.
“Well this is, Sam….” – introduction of your potential life partner, hoping against hope that it will be a seamless fit, and they will adore the newbie as much as you do….
New family members, new babies, new partners…always happy, but with a bit of trepidation on both sides, hoping everyone will get on, and that they won’t think your family is too weird…
Sadness, that that trip of a lifetime is over, and somehow you have to fit back into the world you left behind – even tho the travel has broadened your mind, and given you a thirst to see more, learn more…
Relief, that you made it all the way, that the baby slept, and the toddler charmed the person in the next seat..
Joy, that the person who completes you – is just on the other side of the gate, and you will be wrapped in them soon and feel their heartbeat again.
Excitement that The Next Bit of Your Life is about To Start!
People, lives, emotions, families and love…. There’s ALWAYS tangible love at the departure and arrival gates of an airport… So, next time you fly, raise your eyes from your screen and see if you can see it….
Bon Voyage and travel safe….
2 thoughts on “Another day, Another Airport…”
Great post 😊
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