Some wait patiently while others pace. There are signs and flowers clenched in sweating hands. A few are on phones, but, surprisingly here where the debarking international passengers are excreted from customs, that ubiquitous extension of personality is conspicuously absent.
It's as if life has been put on hold as we all wait.
It's a busy airport. I've spent a lot of time here in the past. That experience has paid off - VIP parking 100 yards from our vantage point, GPS free navigation, no aimless wandering the concourses looking for coffee or medication. Last night was a different sort of visit though.
I wasn't working.
I didn't have to worry about making my own flight - juggling bags and paperwork. I didn't have to worry about not spotting my man coming off of the plane. I didn't have to worry about the crowd, searching for the people who weren't there for the reasons they seemed to be. We passed a police officer armed with an M-4 carbine on the way inside - security was someone else's problem.
|Could watch this all day...|
"I could watch this all day," remarked my wife.
So could I. This was not the tearful departure lounge. This was jumbo jet after jumbo jet load of people being met by family and friends. They were excited. They were happy. It was the same over and over - but different. Like watching the ocean or a fire. Or a snow storm while sipping cocoa.
We watched people from all over the world – all different but with the same emotions - as we waited for our friends. I watched faces light up, people running to each other, hugs... It became out turn eventually. I saw familiar faces with now very familiar expressions; I saw my daughter and her friend mimic the hundreds of others we’d seen in the half hour before she emerged – and the half dozen to either side of them.
I don't know where in the world you are writing from, but I do know that somewhere in your tool box you need to have someone who is happy to see you. And not just, "Hey, how's it going?" happy.
I'm talking "international arrivals at a major airport" happy to see you. It's the buh-