The day after I posted this, I had a memory. The content has been updated to reflect the fullness I now remember.
I met them in an airport once, only I didn’t realize it until later.
They were blonde, three of them. I thought they were mother, father and son. They had such kind eyes. I wanted to feel the love that boy must feel. I wanted to feel the calm stillness I felt in them. I remember thinking, “That’s what I want to be in – a loving, picture-perfect family.” Not like my family. Not like the upheaval and pain of my family. They looked so peaceful, so happy.
They sat near me. They looked at me, directly at me. I looked back at them, a bit startled by the forward eye-contact. Their eyes were so, so blue. They felt so quiet. And they didn’t blink, they just kept looking at me, directly, softly, deeply. I remarked to myself how quiet their energy felt next to my chaotic, fidgety energy. I remember thinking, “This is what true, deep presence must feel like.”
“Travelling?” he said softly to me. I felt safe, because she was with him. But I felt something strange about her, as if she was summing me up, assessing me. “Yes,” I replied in my naivite’.
Then there was a gap of silence, the longest gap of silence. I wondered why they were still looking at me, wondered what they wanted. My mind raced to find something to talk about, but it all felt too trivial.
Then suddenly all of my thoughts fell silent. So silent, so still. I noticed my own stillness. Soon I heard this in my head:
“Are you ready to go?”
“Go where?” My thoughts continued, “I have a flight soon. I have family and friends and things I’m involved with here, I can’t just go.”
My thoughts started to race again. “Wait. Did I just make that up, that conversation in my head? What is really happening? No one said anything aloud.” I felt confused, dazed.
Then in my mind I heard her voice, “See? She’s not ready yet.” She had not spoken a word, but I heard her. I felt sad that her tone sounded a bit disdainful, disappointed maybe.
“No,” he said, “give her a moment. There’s still a chance.”
My mind reeled. I wondered if what I was experiencing was just a figment of my imagination. My attention pointedly noticed the long gap of quiet in the actual spoken conversation. How strange! What was really happening?
Then I felt her inquiry break away from me. “No,” I heard her voice say in my head, “Ugh. You just want her because you like the way she looks. Like candy. She’s not ready. Maybe when she’s 40. Or 45. Let’s go.”
Then they got up to leave, the two parents and their son. And they walked away. Confused, I wondered where they were going. Why had they come to sit here, only to get up and go away again? Why had they sat next to me? Why had they spoken to me? What a strange conversation that was. What just happened? Did I just make up the thoughts I heard in my head?
Then I remembered a detail I had not realized earlier. They had no luggage. Why would two adults with a child be in an airport in the boarding area if they had no luggage, no bags? Why would they be here if they weren’t travelling?
My mind continued to race. Why had they come to sit next to me? What was I missing that lead her to say that I was not ready?
My gaze pursued them, off in the direction of their departure, but they were not there. They were just…gone.
I wondered for years what I had missed that lead her to say, “She’s not ready.” Only now I remember it all.
I also know a bit better now who I am.
It was not the last time I would have experiences like this.