THE PROMISED LAND

NOTE: The goodness of retirement is the joy of being able to do nothing. But the nothing we do is really the something that is our lives. This blog is an attempt to comment on that nothing that is something. And by reading it, I hope you too will think a bit about that something.


When I was a child the circus used to come to my town. It wasn’t a huge circus like Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth, but it was an event that had a big top and stayed for a few days. The circus set up in a large field not far from my house. And my parents always took my brother and I to see it.

But, for all the days the circus was in town, my friends and I constantly hung out around the circus and near the big top. We stood outside the big tent, looking in, watching the performers practice, but never being able to see it from the inside. It was like watching a huge event from the outside, and wishing you could just spend all day inside that tent. The anticipation was intense.

Well, a couple of days ago, my wife and I were at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, known as SEATAC. It’s the biggest airport in Seattle so, essentially, it’s huge. We were there to pick up our daughter who was flying in from New York for a visit. We got there early so we had a good bit of time to kill.

SEATAC is one of those airports where all the good shops, good restaurants, good attractions, and good everything exists in a large atrium after you go through security. Outside of the security checkpoints there are a couple of coffee shops, a wine bar, and a gift/magazine shop. My wife and I chose the wine bar. (And yes, because I was driving I did not have wine. Shame on you for those thoughts).

And in that wine bar we discovered if you sat in the right place, the very seats we were in, you could just barely see beyond security and through a door. And there it was: the large atrium, the promised land of all things wonderful at a large airport.

But we could not enter. We could only see those fleeting images of others having the time of their pre-flight lives. It felt just like looking into that big top years ago.

Why, why, why?

Banned from the golden circle because we had no ticket. Saddened by it all. Forced to sadly converse with one another and even more sadly just look at our phones for any kind of diversions they could offer.

Why, why, why?

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2 Responses to THE PROMISED LAND

  1. Kem says:

    There was a time, not all that long ago when our airports were parks. Going there to watch the process of air travel was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. You could get close enough to smell the oil smoke of the big radial engines of the airliners in the days before the jets, and there was no such thing as a metal detector.
    Now airports are as inviting as prisons. There is nothing fun or relaxing about them. I’m tired of this interminable World War III that has sucked the life out of such delightful places.

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