Wednesday 26 February 2014

The Wonder of the Window Seat

I am about to say something terrible.

Years of air travel have made me...are you ready for it?.....BLASÉ.

How terrible! Did you know that blasé is defined as,

'apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment : world-weary'? 

That's the last way I want to be!  I could be accused of excessive indulgence and enjoyment...but heaven forbid it would make me apathetic or world-weary!

It was my Mom who woke me up to who I had become. 

Having worked as a flight attendant and in active international travel for a decade, I had begun to think of a plane ride as simply a means to an end.  A way to get from one place to another.  So as not to inconvenience my neighbour in the event of a bathroom trip (of which I take many), I would choose an aisle seat.  I also liked to think I could get off the plane faster from an aisle seat - in the event of an actual emergency or the ridiculous rushed feeling to leave the plane that I feel the moment we land.  This borders on claustrophobia but somehow combines a need to race to the baggage carousel and jostle for position only to wait for ages for my luggage to emerge.

On my last trip home, Mom came to greet me at the airport (one of the sweetest acts in my book - and it brings me to tears every time).  She swept me into a hug and cheerfully asked, 'Did you get a window seat?'  I was taken aback for a moment.  I couldn't actually even remember.  And the worst part was, I didn't care.  I've had such incredible privilege to fly so much over the years and I had stopped even paying attention to the flight.  The magic of zooming from one existence to a new experience at over 30,000 feet and hurtling through the atmosphere at over 500 miles per hour had become lost on me.  I paid more attention to the pretzels than to the feat of engineering that had me airborne or to the views unfolding below.  I had become like the pathetic passengers in Louis C.K.'s hilarious piece, 'Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy' 

I love this - it may be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen.  And yet it's also so very sad.
It's time for us all to wake up to wonder again.
I am so grateful to my Mom for everything - but in this moment, it's for the wide-eyed, engaged and very alive way she has helped me to see the world (and air travel) - for the miracle it is.  For her living example that reminds me to never take a thing for granted.  To board each flight excitedly as though it's my first.  To sit wide-eyed like a child, in wonder and with my nose pressed to the window.  Thanks Mom.

You'll find me in the window seat.

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