My Dad used to say, “All roads lead to the same place.” Today I learned that sometimes we get rerouted for reasons beyond our control and if we can truly stay present, there is magic to be created.
I’m in the Atlanta airport and there is a line SO long outside the Delta lounge, you would think the people were waiting for a Disney Ride or Starbucks. The attendant said all of the Delta lounges were at capacity. Not going to lie, it was so early in the morning, I was kind of shocked. Instead of waiting, I headed to my gate, smiling and dancing as I walked. One of the reasons I love airports so much is because when you’re smiling big it inspires others to smile back! I very quickly forgot about the long line.
In the restroom, there was a little girl waiting for her Mom. Her face lit up as I complimented her sneakers. Later, as I was leaving, the bathroom attendant was telling everyone to have a good flight. Some responded, but most left in silence and kept going about their morning. I excitedly told her, “Thank you so much my friend!” The woman stopped cleaning, looked up and gave me the biggest smile. You could tell she was happy to hear my voice. As I walked to the gate, I saw the little girl again, her brother, and met their parents. If you can believe it, guess who’s flight they were on? MINE! We had almost an hour of time to kill. I told the kids I had a surprise in my backpack. I asked the little boy what time it was, and wanted to make sure it wasn’t too early for a surprise.
The kids laughed. I pulled out my book, The Girl Who Said Hello to Everyone and we began to read together. The more we read, we got to learn more about each other. They asked me questions, and together we found the hidden roses in each picture. I asked the little girl Ellison, how she got her name? She didn’t know. Her Mom proudly shared she was named after a street she used to frequently drive on in college. It was Elliston street, she just dropped the T. What a cool story?
Shortly, Ellison pulled out an art book. She is incredibly talented. I told her, if she would make a picture on the plane, I would buy it when we landed. I told her I had one condition. All good artists sign their work, and that this is a commissioned piece. She excitedly boarded the plane. I then sat next to an amazing woman. When we landed she joked that she was about to fall asleep, but then I sat down. She manages 17 elementary school principals, and it was such an honor watching her read my book. When we landed, the little girl and her family were waiting for me. Truly, I forgot, but was quickly reminded as Ellison proudly held up her picture. It made me so happy. As I pulled the $5 out of my bag, her Mom laughed and exclaimed I didn’t have to buy it. I insisted. I looked at Ellison and said one day, you’re going to be an artist selling paintings for $1,000, but that I’ll always have the gift of having your first piece.
We hugged and split ways. As I began walking to baggage check, I was reminded that I never have cash. Yesterday when I was driving in Delray, I saw a man leaving his flashing car with a gas can. It was SO incredibly hot outside. There was a station just a few blocks up, so I asked if he needed a ride to the station. He was so grateful when I drove him back to his car that he gave me the $5. I didn’t want to accept it, but I’m so glad I did. Two total strangers made a child’s day today because of it. I’m sure the guy wasn’t planning on running out of gas, just like I wasn’t planning to miss out on the Delta lounge.
Sometimes we don’t get what we want because life has something more meaningful just around the corner. Don’t let the little things annoy you and ruin your mood. Stay positive and be present. Go make some magic. You are more powerful than you think!