08 August 2007

common dilemma

Last week, when my travels found me in Detroit, instead of in Seattle, I was in line with a lady who had not flown in ten years. Social though I may be, I sometimes crave solitude. When she asked if she could tag along with me since we were both stranded, I hesitated a moment before consenting.
We shared a common dilemma, and she wanted company.

The unknown unsettled her, so she pursued information:
What will the hotel look like?
Will we find somewhere to eat and use our travel vouchers?
How will we get back to the airport?

Will my luggage follow me (perhaps I should have answered this differently)?

And the like. (If she didn't like my answer, she asked someone else.)
She created community. Along with asking to join me, she invited several other people into "our circle." She encouraged one person to sit with us at dinner after we had already ordered. When the woman hesitated, I quickly said, "if you want to be alone, that's just fine."
To which she responded, "Oh no, I'm alone all too often."

And so our circle grew.
We laughed.
We broke bread together.
We moaned a bit about not making our connections...and then celebrated our food, accommodations, and the fact we weren't walking.

We traded email addresses.
They even let me pray with them.

Misery may love company, but one needn't stay miserable!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny how shared experiences can create community, eh? I was on a plane in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening. There was a big mess because somehow a couple of families with small kids were split up even though they had requested to sit together. Everyone was kind of grumpy. Then there was a leak and they made us get off the plane and they sent us to a hotel since there were no other planes available that evening. We all went to hotels, etc. The next morning everyone greeted each other. We rearranged ourselves (again) so families could sit together. There was a real feeling of comeraderie. It's too bad that it takes a disaster like that to get us to talk to one another.