I have always loved airports and flying. It is so exciting to go somewhere far away, experience something new. Watching people in airports is so interesting. It is a hub of humans from all over the world and all walks of life, going somewhere for a variety of different reasons. There are hellos and goodbyes-happy tears and sad tears. There are all kinds of transitions-beginnings of new chapters in lives and endings of others. The energy is amazing. All the excitement of going somewhere to do something is contagious. I always hated being the one dropping off or picking up and then driving back home. Flying was so much more exciting.
I was never afraid to fly. It's one of the safest ways to travel, after all. It's also thrilling to see the world from a cloud's eye view. Once, I found my seat on a plane and a family of four sat down next to and across the aisle from me. We were near the wing of the plane. They were obviously excited but very nervous. The father asked me if I had ever flown before. I said I had, after which he confessed that none of them ever had and they were scared to death. He asked me what it was like. I tried to explain and set them at ease. Shortly after, when the plane went to taxi and take off, the motor was really loud, right outside our window. It really sounded pretty awful. They looked at me, the color draining from their faces, their eyes as big as saucers. "What is that noise? Is that normal?" Inside me I was wondering the same thing but I just put on my poker face and lied, "It's just the motor. It's not always that loud on all planes, but it's nothing to worry about. Trust me." Within minutes we were airborne and not long after, everyone was calm. We landed without incident a few hours later. I have no idea what was up with that plane, but I figured that if there really was a problem, we wouldn't have taken off.
Then, years ago my husband and I planned a family trip to Quebec with our daughter. We were thrilled to go around the end of May, a lovely time of year. We had a variety of fun things planned for this trip, including visiting his uncle's family. It had been a long time since we had been able to go on a trip of this magnitude, so we were enthusiastically looking forward to May. On the day he purchased the airplane tickets, my husband told me he had the tickets and read off the times and flight numbers to and from our destination. When he told me the flight numbers, I felt my heart drop into the pit of my stomach. The adrenalin was pumping and my heart was racing. I didn't know why, but for some reason, I felt a total impending sense of doom. There was something wrong with those flights. I couldn't explain it, even to myself. It just felt dark and ominous. It was crazy. I decided not to say anything for the moment to my husband. How could I ask him to change the flights? (I can't even stand to go back and exchange a pair of socks if I get the wrong size or something.) And what would my great reason be other than an impending sense of doom? It seemed ridiculous. He obviously didn't feel bad about it, why should I? But, since I was feeling this impending sense of doom, which let me tell you, is not a great feeling to carry around with you, I decided to pray about it. I asked what I was feeling and if I should ask to change the flights or cancel them or what. Afterward, I felt an immediate sensation of peace and that I should just leave things the way they were. So, obviously either I was just having a weird feeling because I am weird, or we were flying to our doom and God didn't want to stop us from it. I wasn't so sure either one of those was too comforting a thought, but I decided to go with it. I didn't tell hubby about my feelings, since, the matter was solved and why worry him with the either his wife is crazy or we're going to die thing.
You would think I would feel a little bit nervous after that, but the feeling of peace stayed with me and a few months later, it was May and we were on our way to the airport, to fly to Quebec or our doom, whichever came first.
Come back next week to find out what happened next...