I stepped into Cleveland International Airport tonight, windblown and covered with raindrops. My laptop bag was slung over my right shoulder and my duffel bag on my left. I walked up to the self check-in stand and was just about to begin the familiar process when a hurried woman flew up behind me and instructed me to follow her. She didn’t gather any of the other passengers who were using nearby kiosks, so I was certainly curious what this was all about.
“Destination city?” she asked me. I told her I was headed to Minneapolis through Chicago. She typed feverishly on the terminal in front of her.
“I.D. please,” she stated. She banged her fingers on the keyboard for another couple of minutes before handing me what looked like a boarding pass.
“Go to that airline down there, they can help you.” She instructed. Before I could ask her what was happening, she was gone. I threw my bags back over my shoulders and trucked myself down the terminal to the airline she told me to go to. I handed the agent the slip the other woman had given me and she handed me a boarding pass. It was a direct flight that got me home an hour and a half earlier than my original one. I was happy, but perplexed.
As I sat in the terminal awaiting my new flight, I noticed on the boards that my original one was over 2 hours delayed. I wanted to run back to the ticketing agent and hug her. What brought her into my life at that very moment? How did she know to grab me before I had even checked in? Why hadn’t she asked any of the other passengers standing there? So many questions I will never get answered, but I was appreciative.
I’m typing this in the dark cabin of a small plane, staring out the window at the night sky filled with stars that are even more brilliant when you are 29,000 feet closer to them than usual. The clouds are skimming the belly of our plane as we barrel across the night sky. I feel grateful. I feel calm. I feel refreshed. But most of all I feel inspired.