A moment of “Truth & Beauty” in the West Economy Parking Lot

To say that things have been a bit busy lately is a massive understatement, (maybe a downright lie!) The business is thriving but of course takes a lot of focus and effort; customers always have needs/issues/opportunities that require attention, often immediately, often in person. The months of May and June have been an absolute blur with a travel schedule that has hit new highs (or lows based on your perspective.) To add a bit of mania into it all, we are in the process of buying a new home in Atlanta and actually moved yesterday. I know I know, obviously we are gluttons for punishment!

With everything going on, to say the least I have found myself a bit stressed over the past weeks/months. My “wick” is shorter than usual, and what were normal challenges / “bumps in the road” now seem to be major issues. I am constantly reminding myself of two concepts/principles form previous essays: “PBR: Pause/Breath/& Reconnect”, and the ever favorite “Aunt Lorraine’s Law: take Small Bites and Chew Thoroughly.” It’s a little scary and telling when you have to work hard to reminding YOURSELF of lessons/stories that YOU wrote over the past few years.

Well this week has been a crescendo of sorts. This past Sunday (father’s day of course) I had to fly west in order to meet with customers coming to visit us at our plant in Bakersfield California. The meetings Sunday night and Monday went very well, and I flew out of Bakersfield Monday night to make it back to Atlanta Tuesday morning to meet the folks from the moving company packing up our old house. (All I have to say is thank God for Jennie!) The big crew came back on Wednesday to do the actual move, and by 8pm last night, every piece of furniture, every box, every bike, everything had made it to the new house! What’s totally crazy is that I woke up this morning at 5:20am to get on a flight back to LA for key meetings today, returning on the red-eye late tonight. OUCH!

To say that I was a bit groggy this morning is an understatement. With blurry eyes and a sore back, I walked out in the dark humid Atlanta morning, got in my car and headed to the airport candidly feeling pretty sorry for myself. Like many travelers I am a creature of habit and as is my way, I pulled into the west economy parking lot (Aisle 14, section A of course) and parked my car in my regular area just as the sky was brightening with the rising sun. As I was pulling my bag from the car, I was “assaulted” by the energized “chirps” of a small bird perched in a tree above my car. I couldn’t tell what I had done wrong, or was doing wrong, or at first what the small bird was trying to “say” with its “chirps.” As I paused for a moment I realized that the bird wasn’t alone, but was sitting right above a nest of twigs filled with tiny baby birds. Here I was quietly standing in an airport parking lot, having another “parent” tell me something about her/his kids. Unbelievable and beautiful all in the same scene; standing in an airport parking lot at the break of dawn in a moment of “Truth & Beauty.”

The “Truth” is that while it is a busy time, that little bird reminded me to “join the club!” Could I imagine trying to raise my kids in a parking lot tree at the Atlanta airport? I know it’s a bit wild now in my work and business life but I am lucky to have the problems that I am dealing with. The “Truth” also is that family, whether in a nest or a new home, must come first. The “Beauty” is that in the most unexpected moments, like the west economy parking lot, we can experience truly beautiful things. In a previous essay from last summer titled “Unexpected Beauty”, I wrote about our family being blown away by a musical “experience” in a Paris metro station. While it’s true that one can find beauty and inspiration in Art Museums, Cathedrals, or in a myriad of “expected” environments, work to find ways to be open and receptive to movements of “Truth & Beauty” where you may least expect them!