I love airports. They’re a mishmash of people from many walks of life, all mixing, interacting, and sometimes colliding depending on how busy the terminal is. I’m fascinated by peoples’ stories and experiences—there’s so much to learn from people who’ve experienced things I never will.
Right now, I’m sitting at the airport in Las Vegas. Dozens of slot machines are blinking and twinkling in the center of the terminal. A flight just arrived, and a stream of people are moving from my left to my right, headed toward the exit and the city beyond. Many are wearing coats. I wonder if they are coming from somewhere cold or headed somewhere cold.
Earlier this evening, I saw a younger person who looked like a young woman of Asian descent—perhaps college-age or a little younger—sitting at a table with what looked like a man in his mid 30’s. Both of them sat at a table where, together, they looked intently at a laptop computer, and the man was explaining something intensely with his hands as if he were trying to instruct the young woman about something. The young woman had two backpacks next to her, and each held three tennis racquets—the taped handles protruded from the packs. My curiosity was piqued by this moment. What’s it like to be so talented at tennis that you watch and discuss (what I can assume was) a video of a match? What is their day-to-day life like? Are they headed to competition—or maybe coming back from one? So many questions.
Airports remind me that people are wondrous. They’re unique and vary in so many ways. Each has a past with hurts and joys, and futures. And we’re all here right now in Las Vegas in this airport among the slot machines, pretzel shops, and Jazz Muzak. Our paths are crossing now and likely never will again.
All this reminds me that I should cherish every moment—and every person—every chance I get. We only have now.