Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Delays

The original flight was supposed to leave Chicago with a one hour stop and plane change in Minneapolis, then on to San Diego. I thought the hop north was a little off, but what could be so bad about a stop in Minnesota? Answer: a plane mechanical failure resulting in a missed flight to San Diego.

I now have a five hour stay at O'Hare International. I am left to make the most of the delay.

I park myself in a sunny window for the next few hours and all around me, I hear other people on phones, conversing about delayed flights.

Delayed flights delay life, but it's not only air travel that sends life into the unexpected.

I think of Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison before he became president of South Africa.

I think of another friend who wanted and planned to be a mother. Nearly 40 years old with two failed adoptions and just as many failed pregnancies, I smile when I think of her holding her baby girl.

In the long years, Nelson Mandela became a powerful advocate of peace; my friend studied for a PHD and served the people in her community.

Their admirable accomplishments put a positive twist and possibility to the discouraging idea of a life delay.

Maybe delays are just bridges to discovery, understanding, and a deepening of the soul.

Whenever I have a short delay, I hear my mother's advice, "Always carry a good book." She's never thrown by a doctor who's behind in his schedule, or a bumped flight, because she always brings along a good book. Her antidote of adjustment is to prepare for the unexpected with literature. I've come to adopt the same attitude, and because of Mom, the five hour delay in Chicago brings opportunity to explore (physically and mentally), observe, and enjoy more golden hours of reading and writing.