Day 8 People Watching

t1larg.atlanta.airport

I had the pleasure of being at the largest and busiest airport in the world today.  I was amazed at all the different people walking back and forth, some with kids in tow, others holding hands and some of them just wandering about, head up looking from left to right trying to make sense of all of the signage or lack there of.  This airport is confusing! North terminal, South terminal, this gate that gate.
Voices heard over the loud speaker paging a lost woman or notifying passengers of a last minute gate change.  It all moves so fast.  Then I spotted her; a little elderly woman with a small upright hard case roller bag. Bright pink with a neon green elastic band around the middle so that she can identify it on the baggage claim carousel I presume.
The bag can roll with the slightest touch since it has 4 wheels that turn in a 360 degree angle.  But she is bent over with her hands on top of the luggage as she pushes it in front of her.  Slow with deliberate tiny steps making sure not to bump into anybody or run over anyone’s toes.  She looks up and sees me watching her and I smile and say “hi nice bag”, she just smiles back, nods her head and says “thank you very much” in a thick asian accent.
I watch her until she has vanished from sight and turn my attention to a group of young people.  Each one wears a green duffle bag with heavy gold locks on the top, each one strapped on their back, backpacks worn in front of them so I see the zipper and a black name badge with black stars circling sir names.  In each hand is a folder/large envelope with papers inside and in the other hand another green duffle bag with strings tied at the top and that same heavy gold lock.
The conversations are light and playful, as they contemplate what to eat; Shane’s Rib Shack or IHOP, Popeye’s or Burger King, Teriyaki Express or Friday’s. Food vouchers in hand one by one approach their chosen eatery and place their order; “oh yes ma’am, I’ll have the…..” and then like clockwork “Thank you, ma’am” one by one they say.
I watch until it is time for my flight but not before I tell the group of young men to “try and stay safe and take care of each other.” I settled into my seat, reclined it back, closed my eyes and smile because I know what I was going to write about today.  The brotherhood that these newly enlisted young men shared was unmistakeable and was a welcome sight.
At first I thought how it was such a contrast of the little woman alone as she rolled her luggage to her destination. But I must assume that she was not going to remain alone; I assume with each step she was making, was bringing her closer to the family that was no doubt anxiously awaiting for her at arrivals to come around the corner and be reunited at last.
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