The word ‘airport’ brings up a lot of images in my mind. While most of them are happy, some of them are sad. Sad, when I have had to say goodbye to people close to my heart. Sometimes, saying goodbye to people I don’t know when I’ll meet.
Over the last week, I had to go to the airport and say goodbye to two people very close to my heart. Both of them were leaving the country and for both of them, I can say that I honestly do not know when I am going to see them again. You don’t really feel a lot until that person is stepping away towards the departure gate with his/her trolley and suitcase, with a ticket in the hand and some tears in his eyes that threaten to flow.
Of stuttering moms who say goodbye to their sons and daughters and want to say to them, “Don’t go.” but cannot. Of friends who enjoyed those many many days of beautiful company and don’t know when they will have so much fun again. Of stoically silent fathers who want to cry but cannot. Airports make you sad. Airports actually tell you that it’s alright to cry, because so many people around you are doing so! And yes, it IS alright to cry. And it’s important to hug people when they leave, just to tell them how much you’re going to miss them and how much you love them. Airports bring out the emotive best out of you. Airports make you want to wait till the person disappears around the corner in the baggage screening queue.
But Airports tell you something more important. Airports tell you to move on. Move on, literally. Just a few more steps and you reach the Arrivals terminal. You reach wide grins, bouquets of flowers, welcome balloons, flower garlands and name-boards waiting for that special person. You see disproportionately large welcome parties, reminding you to always celebrate and make a big deal out of your happiness. Why? Because I believe you must. MUST.
Airports mean this to me –
Airports remind you life is happy and sad. But you must move on. Travel that distance. Hug that special person before you let go. Be there as a part of the welcome party. Shout out in happiness and sheer glee. Hug that person again. Happiness is an arrivals terminal! 🙂