I walked off the plane and snowflake decorations hung over my head and 4 men dressed in red suits sang in holiday harmony to the awaiting passengers. Joy was in the air. I was that much closer to my destination and my family. A shuttle took me to a nearby terminal that held my connecting flight. Joy turned to disappointment as "delayed" flashed across the screen.
I could find a comfy corner and lay down on my puffy jacket, I could grab a glass of wine, or get something to eat. Instead, I decided to walk the hall. Back and forth watching the people around me...crying toddlers, angry passengers, and an old couple cuddling...great people watching.
I listened to a song, an anthem of sorts and felt powerful.
I thought of a sweet and worried face from this morning. She handed me a Christmas card. Her family was smiling and perfect in black and white. I know the recipients of her card this year have no idea what she is going through. Still, she managed a beautiful smile alongside her family and mailed them out. One day that photo might give her strength and appreciation for all that she's been through. Or would she immediately rip it up and try to forget?
I would tell her to always keep it and Carry On.
My photos, too, are filled with struggle, and memories of another year filled with challenges. My kids would barely sit still, my husband regretfully posed, and I took a dozen shots--carefully selecting the one that presented "our better side."
A Christmas card can look so perfect, but we all know real people live inside them and real people are far from perfect.
This year has been filled with changes, most of them good and many of them challenging. We have struggled with some family and friendships, and breaking away can feel lonely and disappointing. It can also feel liberating.
As I walk the airport hall, I feel strong. I am listening and believing.
"If you're lost and alone or you're sinking like a stone...Carry On. May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry On, Carry On."