Here I am, sitting by the gate about to board the plane to Oslo from New York, enjoying a Godiva chocolate, making some last minute phone calls and feeling good about traveling light.
Next to me is a mother giving her small son an infusion – it appears from his baldness he may have cancer or a significant medical condition- and it knocks the breath out of me. Keeping her hands busy with tubes and clips, she smiles, chats with who might be her husband, and the little boy starts to sing. He plays with his truck.
I swallow the sweetness of the luxurious chocolate. Think of my three healthy teenage sons, whose early childhoods knew only typical growing pains and the occasional run to the ER for a stitch or three.
A deep surge of gratitude and humility makes me feel strangely present in my body, anchored in a material reality of the seat by the gate, but also in the gift of this suspended moment in time.
The rows of my seat are called to board, and I fish out the little card from my wallet with the Jewish traditional travel prayer. I whisper it to myself. That the boy, his family, and I should reach our destination in life, joy and peace.
Because I take nothing for granted.