While air travel has become ‘normalised’ in the last few decades, losing much of its glam the process, it remains one of my greatest joys. My journey Wednesday from San Francisco back to Tel Aviv, this time via Newark, was no exception.
The magic began as I found myself doing something I’d not had to think about in recent years, recharging my cell phone prior to boarding, a tedious task due to reluctantly giving in and buying a 'smart' phone. Ok, I admit that this technology had become a necessity, but that didn’t make it any easier up against my all too true experience regarding how these handheld devices suck energy from relationships. And, don’t get me started on how often I feel in mortal danger when forced to ride as a passenger with a driver who’d unwilling or unable to put their phone down even in the worst traffic.
Waiting for the phone to charge, a young woman sat down beside me and seeing her dim sum and sushi kick started the awareness that there was no meal service on the 5+ hour domestic flight. Asking where she bought it, her immediate response was to share her meal with me! That started a dialogue that kept me from the food court and what Eliana and I shared was infinitely richer and more nourishing than mediocre airport food! The dialogue that continued until we boarded the plane got even better when we got in line and Brenda, a fellow traveller from Vermont, overheard our conversation and joined in!
Landing in Newark with just over an hour to my connecting flight to Israel, learning that my departure gate was about as far away as possible and knowing there was another very thorough security yet to be cleared before boarding my flight to Israel, I was unable to wait for them to deplane and say goodbye. But we’d exchanged business cards and my knowing was that if it was meant to be, we’d reconnect.
On the way to the gate my stomach growled and me know that finding a decent salad for dinner was important, I found a deli and ordered a small salad to go. Asking if that was all I wanted, I said it would be enough, and so I was with more than a litter puzzled as he put an orange and a bottle of water in the bag. But words failed me when he handed it across the counter and said “It’s my honour to buy you dinner this evening. I just wish I could eat with you and hear your story. I think it’s probably pretty special. Travel safely.
What? I remember wondering, am I really in New Jersey as I thanked him while looking at the cashier who was also curious as to what was going on. It was then that a thought immediately came to mind... ‘Be aware lest you entertain angels unaware.”
This young man was amazing and clearly understands the beauty of passing loving energy on and paying love forward.
And the top email in my inbox was from Eliana, the young woman I met at the start of the trip! And Eliana, a rabbi I met on the flight read through parts of the book on the way to Israel, and it was he who told me that I'd find something pretty special inside! It was, of course, your note!