Human Interaction

My morning plane ride consists of yawning, getting through security, boarding a plane with 140 other people, and attempting to pump breast milk in the plane bathroom before the plane takes off. On my way back from a business trip from our vacation rental in Savannah, GA and I tiredly settle in my seat; I head to Netflix, I turn on “Unbreakable,” and indulge in some wine and cheese…

 After some time, I notice the man sitting next to me has a gold ring with what seems to be a gray stone. (I’ve been collecting rocks, gems, stones; all of the above from the time I was 5, so needless to say the ring really stood out to me and conversation with this man began….)

Striped collared shirt under his blue sweater, reading glasses and probably in his 70’s…. and of course that gold ring with the gun metal stone ;) He tells me he received the ring in 1965 (a gift from his dad when he went to Scotland as a medic student) He was born in Kenya (a British colony at the time) and his family is from India. It was the only jewelry he had on and you could tell he was fond of his father. He continues to tell me about his daughter, grandsons and wife. I tell him I can’t wait to be with my husband and kids. He talks about his recent travels to India and Dubai with his wife, his cultural norms in India and how they differ from New York (where he resides) The chat goes on…

As he was telling his story, he never looked at me in the eyes, and so it gave me this unusual ability to look at his face in a way you wouldn’t normally look at people. I could see the edge of his smile when he talked about his grandkids, the droop in his eyes when he talked about his nieces husband who passed yesterday (at 30 years old) and I was able to see the imperfections of the human face that acted as a map of his life; they completed who he was… they told his story.

There are many reasons I enjoy travel, and each of those unique in it’s own time. Today I enjoyed the human connection with this man on a plane. The ability to share stories with a complete stranger and the reminder that life has many adventures and that family is sacred.

Thank you to the Gun Metal stone that started this human interaction ;)

 

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