The Sum of the Parts

I dream I’m in an airport I’ve been in countless times between flights on my way home. It’s odd, for a number of reasons. I don’t have a ticket, for one thing.

I know there are hours before the flight so I’m just reading in one of the lounges. The thought occurs that I’d be able to relax into my book more fully if I had a ticket in my bag so I set out to buy one. I’m confused when I don’t find ticket counters aren’t where I expect them to be.

The. Gerry appears out of nowhere and points to the stairs. I’m just on the wrong floor. Oh, okay. Good.

Together we morph to the lower level where there are rows and rows of computers at stand-up desks and sit-down desks. Something for everyone. Purchasing a ticket and printing a boarding pass is strictly a DIY thing.

Okay, I’ve got this.

But I don’t.

I can’t figure the first thing out about how to enter my information into the computer, so I move to another. Then another. All around me young people are buying tickets and printing boarding passes, and I lean over and ask for help. A young man tells me what I need to do, but his instructions don’t help, so I ask someone else. The scenario repeats and I grow more frustrated with every passing minute.

Finally, a different young man takes us under his wing (Gerry is there now. He’s been running around looking for a plastic bucket I left behind at one of the computer terminals.). He guides us to a cozy corner where the computer looks different and offers instructions on how to enter my information.

At one point I get hysterically giddy and tell him that once upon a time I was a computer programmer and the fact that I’m having so much trouble is a hoot.

I’m rescued from the situation by the sound of Murphy making noise from his crate next to our bed, letting me know he needs to pay a visit to the facilities.

One wonders what the mind is trying to work out when we sleep. I can pinpoint thoughts of the airport to scenes we saw on the news last evening. I once spent a good chunk of time in airports, so I get the connection. There’s a hint of feelings about this stage of life too. Piece by piece I can see connections; the dream as a whole is just chaos.

A little like life, yes?

It’s hard to make sense of the big picture sometimes—like now—but in ordinary moments, when we pay attention, we find anchors. And delights. And, yes, moments of mystery. I believe there’s great wisdom to be found in the simple, ordinary things. Always, but especially when the big picture seems hard to grasp.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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