Friday, February 22, 2013

Airport Sondering

I like to sonder in the airport. What is sondering you ask? Good question.

sonder on the beach definition
This picture was taken by yours truly in Puerto Rico. Old San Juan specifically.
Sonder. Knowing that everyone one else has an equally intricate and emotional story as yours. Crushing despair, heart pounding elation, the spreading warmth of love. They've watched sunrises and sunsets, cried until numb and laughed until it hurt, had hopes and dreams and goals and desires. Every intense emotion and event you've ever experienced, has been mirrored by millions around the world. That... is sondering.

I intentionally get to the airport early so I can people watch. I like to grab a coffee, find the least uncomfortable chair near my gate and just... watch.I try to imagine where they're going, why, who they're going to meet.

There's the dance team on their way to a national competition. Jittery and laughing in their team shirts. The businessman in his suit and tie, checking his email and tapping his foot. Impatient to get on with things. The new parents, fussing over the baby in her carrier. Tucking and retucking blankets, double checking tickets, and updating relatives as to their arrival time. The adventurer with his worn out backpack and slightly faded tshirt. Chatting in some other language to someone he just happened to sit down by.

It's just crazy to think of the number of people, the number of stories that pass through your own without so much as a second thought. If the walls had eyes and ears and mouths, what sorts of stories would they tell about what they've seen? In an airport, I just can't imagine.

Sondering. Next time you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, just stop. Watch the people around you. Wonder at their hurry. Celebrate that you are not alone. Remind someone that we're all in this together, at least for a little while.


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