"When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that [you] can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding [you.] In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
-- Albert Camus
Every time I watch the above video I get verklempt. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMG2vNVq0ww in case your tablet or phone doesn't load the link) There is something about the joy of the flash mob providing a spontaneous commentary on people connecting. The video’s tag line of life’s for sharing is perfect for this type of shared celebration: life, connections, hugs, complete strangers applauding you, telling your story of coming home, or being so far away from home and all the hope and angst and triumph and arrivals and departures inherent in an international terminal in the airport.
And doesn’t it seem that life is sometimes a series of airport arrivals and departures? Where we are in a state of flux, ending a journey and coming home to loving arms, or leaving loving arms to head to ports unknown. And wouldn’t it be grand if we actually could see and touch and feel the love and support of a cast of thousands on our journey through life? A great cloud of witnesses as the Christian scripture (Hebrews 12) tells us surrounds us, encouraging us to throw aside everything that hinders us in our race, in our epic journey?
Most of the time, however, we feel as if we’re on our journey alone; as if there is no one to see
our lonely struggles or homesickness or even applaud our happy homecomings.
How would it change us, change our journeys, our pit stops and detours if we realized we weren’t alone? That there were others cheering us on, waiting for us, ready to give us high fives as we pass by on wherever our journey is leading?
And how can we be the flash mob that greets other travelers on their journeys? What would happen if we remembered we’re all in the international terminal and it’s our vocation to awaken that light of joy, of connection, of encouragement to those we pass who we might, in another time and space, simply pass by, unseeing and uncaring.
My hope is that each of us will feel, in the coming days and weeks, that sense of being welcomed, wherever we are on our journeys, of being celebrated as we continue on our path, regardless of where it might lead, and that we would joyously go up to others, even those whom this world would define as strangers and say to them (particularly the ones who seem lost, or travel-stained or bone-weary) that they are not alone, and give them a flower or a hug or a brilliant smile and tell them you’re with them, you’re proud of them and that, whether they’re coming home or leaving it for the first time, whether they’re escaping something or running joyously toward something, that we are there for them, that they are not alone, and that we really are all connected. There, no matter how cloudy the sky or cold the night, is where our invincible summer lies.