I Spy

Yesterday morning found me sitting cross-legged in Atlanta International Airport – the “world’s busiest airport,” says Wikipedia. “Best airport ever!!!” exclaims multiple Google Reviews. “Worst airport ever!!” complains additional Google Reviews. Well, whether worst or best, there I was perched in one of those stiff, awkwardly-leaning seats (seriously, is it just me or do all airport terminal seats lean back just a bit too far?) next to my sister. It’s just past 8am and we exchange yawns resulting from a whirlwind weekend trip. She returns to reading her book. I tune back into the song in my earbuds, and continue staring off into space and soaking in the environment at the same time.

Wikipedia seems accurate. There are so many people here and it’s even an early Sunday morning! All different walks of life. All different ages. All different demographics. I begin noticing little things, and I begin taking notes of them. I begin watching the people around me, I begin “people-watching” I suppose. To my left, I spy a young man chatting with an older woman in what seems to be a lovely growing small talk conversation. Perhaps they aren’t strangers but it looks that way. A 3ish-year old boy runs by me and steals my attention with his bright giggle. He has to be the most alert individual in the terminal. I wave to him. To my right, I spy the brightest coral pants I’ve ever seen on a man. Dang. Now I’m thinking about how I want a pair of coral pants. Would it be weird to ask him where he bought them? Probably. Especially since they’re male pants.

Most of my thoughts above are subconscious until I realize a pattern. I spy…I spy…I spy. My mind is like those books I loved (and sometimes hated) as a kid!! You know the ones. Each set of two pages reveal a scene of either 1) an explosion of the tiniest items you ever did see or 2) a scene of such intricate detail (usually constructed with toys) you could lose time gazing at it. And then, in poetic form, you as the reader were instructed to find 10 random items within the scene. It was such an accomplishment to catch all ten! And it was so maddening to not find that last one. What do you mean, “a flag on a house in a tree” ? There are NO trees!! You lie, I Spy book, you lie!

Back to Sunday morning, though. What if I could construct my airport scene into an I Spy scene? What would be the items, what would be the clues, what would I want others to see that I see? Or, what do I want others to show me that they see? Wait, I tell my mind, as it usually does like to run off…what if the I Spy clues are intangible rather than tangible? Such as, I spy joy. I spy love. I spy strength. Who of us fits those adjectives? Can we tell by their face? Their body expressions? Their conversations? Or is it hidden behind blank stares, heads buried in phone screens, and isolation? Because I bet in all of these people around me, no matter what they look like, no matter how they seem in my snapshot view, have wonderful and intriguing and beautiful stories. And I want to catch a glimpse. I want to spy a part of that. I smile.

Diana, stop smiling to yourself. You probably look creepy. That’s what others will see in you. Wait, maybe they’ll see joy. And happiness. And a free spirit.

I like the sound of that. Or rather, I like the sight of that.


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