Planes, People, and the Universe

Although this post is 2-weeks behind it is finally making its debut.  So where to begin, yes, about 3-weeks ago I was contacted by a company that oddly I was inadvertently chasing.  It’s quite a story and I am certain will be a post sooner than later.  Anyway, the company wanted to fly me out to meet in person.  I was taking a 4 and half hour plane ride to Kitchener, Ontario, which is about the same distance from Calgary as a flight across the US. The flight was departing Calgary at 12:15 PM.  We arrived just about 35 minutes prior to departure, yes, I know – that appears a bit close.  Considering how much I have traveled in the US, I really didn’t think a province to province flight was that big of a deal. Don’t worry, I learned my lesson after sweating out the HUGE line at security.

I arrive at my gate and wait for the plane.  In the meantime I talk to a buddy of mine, Tim, back in Arizona about a potential job I am trying to help him land, unbeknownst to me they made the call to start boarding the plane.  When I realized that I should have moved 5 steps in line to make my way on the plane, the line up (Canadian term, please see Clorinda’s BLOG for glossary) was about a mile long, so what was the point.  I just choose to stand there to see if anyone would let me in.  After all I was in front the whole time prior to the announcement, so should I really have to go to the back of the line?

An older woman whom appeared to be a in her young 70’s says “Would you like to get in line?” I said “you are to kind, thank you for allowing me in.” We boarded happily after being checked in by the nicest Westjet employee on the planet! I arrive at my seat, trying to get settled by getting my book and iPod out of my carry-on before settling into my WINDOW SEAT (not fond of the window), I am holding up the line a tad bit.  To my surprise the kind woman who let me jump in line actually is sitting in the aisle seat of my same row.  The woman was confused where her seat was, so I of course immediately offered up my window seat;  Trying to be nice of course, but really was trying to get out of sitting by the window.

We began our flight and although with a grimace I  began to read my book “ellen degeneres the funny thing is.”  It wasn’t but an hour in and of course I had to use the washroom (Canadian term again see Clorinda’s BLOG).  When I arrived back, I giggled and thanked the women for letting me up and then said “sorry, I might be a bit high maintenance during the flight,  I drink lots of water” She said “Don’t be silly, of course I would let you up.”  It was cute.  From there we began a conversation.  It was the typical plane conversation to start “So where are you headed? Do you live in Calgary or Kitchener?” Then the conversation seem to flow beyond that, first about how she is quite thrifty (me too), then on how she is turning 85 in January and her daughter invited her on a 3-weeks trip to Iceland/Germany by saying “Come on mom, you can’t take the money with you” referring to when she dies, so why not spend it.  I inquired about what she was doing on the trip and she shared that she is off to Iceland then Germany where she will see the Passion Play that is preformed every 10 years in a small town there. Forgive me as I cannot remember the name of the town, but the experience seemed “priceless.”  I proceeded to tell her what a beautiful opportunity that was and how great she gets to have this experience with her daughter and son-in-law. We talked about how we sometimes need to take time to really experience life even when our tight financial mindset tells us otherwise.

The conversation just went on and on.  I learned that her 2nd son died a few years back, so therefore I shared my story about my father.  She is divorced and so then I shared about my family.  Not sure she followed my relationship at first, but by the end she had it down.  I know she lives in small city outside of Abbottsford, BC.  She loves to play dominos with her friends and especially enjoys playing mexican train and chicken foot.   We created a bond, so much that at the end of the flight, I told her how I feared sitting in the window seat and she laughed and said “oh dear, I thought you were just trying to be nice.  I would have totally sat there, but figured you would prefer to look out the window.”

We landed in Kitchener sooner than my mathematical calculation, thus revealing the conversation was that powerful. At first, people rushed beyond Mary (that is her name by the way) which upset me.  I of course reached my hand out to stop them man getting ready to dash across our path so my new friend, Mary, could get out.  After getting her bag free from above, I had a bit of a snag while trying to retrieve mine.  Mary proceeded on to get off the plane and I was hoping we could say a proper farewell before proceeding on to our next destination.  After a couple of minute delay, I notice her waiting at the bottom of the stairs (by the way it was raining outside, so the fact that she waited means even more) on the tarmac.  Once my foot hit the pavement, she took my arm into hers  and kept saying how great it was to meet me.  She even asked if we could maybe be pen pals.  We jollily walked into the terminal as if we started on this trip together and were now meeting the rest of the family.  It was so cute.  She introduced me to her daughter and was giving me some compliments about the kind of person I was.  It was so sweet.  We hugged and said our goodbyes.  Her daughter said she would help her mom get on my website.  It is my hope that she does and shares with me a brief synopsis about her trip.

All of us have a story and although we are different, we experience the same life events.  Mary touched my heart and made me feel important.  She took an interest in who I was.  She wished me well at my interview and said that I would know what was right for me.  She became a meaningful acquaintance.  The most incredible part, the middle seat between us was the only seat empty on the entire flight!  The universe is always putting us in situations where we can choose the direction.

Make it Count by taking note of who and what are around you.

Cheers Mary!

Ashley Stevenson