Yesterday I visited four airports – Fargo, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Harrisburg. My first flight left just a few minutes shy of 8 AM and I arrived in Harrisburg at 5:30 PM. That is what you get (a full day of travel) when you book flights only a week in advance and you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg (even though it is the government paying – but like a good citizen I still try and be sensible with the government’s money – I will expect a thank you note from my congressman and senators – not a cheap one either – a special U.S. Government embossed one).
I have been to all the other airports many times, but it was my first time at the Atlanta airport – wow…big airport. I had to go up the steepest escalator I have ever been on in Atlanta from the train level to the C concourse. It had to be traversing two stories as it was long. I kept thinking, “I hope no one is drunk above me on the escalator because if one person goes down we are all going down like dominoes!” Just another silly thing that a risk management orientation causes you to think about. I got a kick out of Atlanta’s airport restrooms – they have them lit up with male and female symbols in pink and blue that run across the top. That is the first time I have seen that…I surmise it is a function of being in Atlanta where the girls are still about the pink and the boys are all still about the blue (and yeah…I think I’ll just leave that at that). But goodness gracious do I love their adorable accents in Atlanta all drawly and sweet…I made a mental note to travel through there again – just not on the C concourse.
With four airports in one day the people watching opportunities were seemingly unlimited. I had an ephipany during my travels today – something that I probably intuitively knew, but never actually formally thought until I was waiting in the rental car line (which is, my friends, a story for another day – but let me just say they gave me a car that you would expect to see Shriner’s clowns in – a little boxy thing and BRIGHT yellow – photos are forthcoming). But back to my ephipany…I am so easily distracted.
I recognized yesterday that beauty – real beauty that transcends age, gender and other such things – really lies primarily in a genuine smile. It seemed like all the travelers I ran across yesterday were happy travelers and it showed in their faces and they were in turn a beautiful bunch. It caused me to think about all the time, money and energy we spend in life to be what we conceive is beautiful when really it has so little to do with what you look like on the outside and so much more to do with being able to show the warmth of your inside in a smile.
So that is what I did with my day yesterday – I discovered the true essence of beauty…all in all a fairly productive day in my wabi sabi world.
Day five hundred and eighty-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da