The blog posts I’ve most enjoyed writing have been part of a trip. And here I go again. I’m heading to the US Open tennis tournament. Adventures will abound over the next sixteen days. And I’ll try not to write about tennis all the time!
Toronto Airport is where I sit. I hadn’t driven the two hours from Belmont, Ontario to Toronto for eighteen months. This morning I welcomed the 401 highway as an old friend.
The airport is quiet. Only passengers and employees are allowed onsite. I wait happily in the departure lounge.
As I walked the long halls to Gate F98, the moving walkway hummed beside me … empty. Until two little girls on their scooters came rambling along – going the wrong way on a one-way street. And here came a young couple entering the walkway, masked up like all of us. They noticed the sliding kids at the last second, and I think their faces tightened. It definitely looked different than when folks smile under their masks. I wanted them to celebrate the exuberance of childhood. I guess they had other ideas.
And now the plane. I was thrilled to have a window seat. Minutes after sitting down, however, everything shifted. I started talking to the young woman who had joined me. She mentioned her husband, who was sitting two rows ahead. Bam! Window seat out the window and I heard myself offering to switch so they could sit together. No thought … just a flooding of words. I marvelled how something so important could shift to meaningless.
My new seatmate was another woman, maybe ten years older than the first. We talked briefly about visiting New York. I told her about two of my local favourites: the Circle Line cruises around Manhattan and McSorley’s Pub. I was super duper enthusiastic, and she went quiet. Memories of “You’re too much, Bruce” came for a visit. I decided to be silent and see if she’d initiate more conversation. She didn’t. So we just said goodbye on landing. Should I tone it down? Am I scaring some people? No and yes. Marianne Williamson appeared in my brain:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
And that’s enough for tonight.