We were sitting in the Dallas Fort Worth airport terminal having a bite to eat, killing time before the flight.
We'd got to the airport two hours early.
I always like to be early for flights. I don't like rushing at the last minute. Or standing in a long slow moving line at security wondering if I'm going to miss my flight. That's way too stressful for me.
So we had plenty of time.
Also, I like to get to the gate early. Our flight left from Gate 34 Terminal D, and so Jennifer and I found a little Vietnamese eatery just near Gate 34, and had a leisurely lunch and a good long chat.
We'd been so busy lately we really hadn't had much time to talk.
The flight left at 2:35pm, and boarding was at 2:05pm. At around 1:50pm I thought we should wander over to the gate – so off we headed.
On the ticket it said Gate A34.
We walked over to Gate 34 but I couldn't find Gate A34. I walked up and down the long concourse, getting more and more frantic. There was D34, but not A34.
Finally in desperation I stopped an airport worker riding past in a cart. I asked her: Can you tell me where Gate A34 is?
Oh man, she said. You gotta go up to the Skylink and catch a train to Gate A34. What time your flight?
2:35, I said.
Man, you better hurry.
I looked at my watch. It was nearly 2:05pm. The flight would be already boarding.
We walked back down the long concourse, not running but walking fast. As fast as we could. At the end of the terminal building was the longest escalator I've ever seen in my life. It was the escalators up to the Skylink. It must have gone up five stories.
We got on the escalator and it seemed to take an interminable time to get us up to the floor where there was a Skylink station.
Skylink at Dallas Fort Worth is a train that takes you from terminal to terminal.
Even though Qantas / American Airlines flights depart from Terminal D, for some reason our flight to LA was departing from Terminal A, on the other side of the huge airport complex.
It was 2:12pm when we got on the train.
I felt an overpowering sense of dread when I looked up at the station map on the wall of the train – we had five stops before we got to the stop for A34.
Each time the train stopped at a station, and people got on and people got off, and the doors opened and the doors closed, I became more and more convinced that we would miss our flight.
It was now 2:20pm.
I didn't know how far we would have to walk to the gate from the Skylink station. It could be a 15 minute walk.
I thought back to all the time we wasted sitting having lunch. I beat myself up for not being better prepared. It's not like I'm not an experienced traveler. Crikey. I should have known better. I shouldn't have assumed.
Always I come unstuck when I assume.
We were going to miss the flight. I was now sure of it. Or at least I was sure there was a very strong chance we'd miss the flight. And if we missed the flight then it would throw the whole forward schedule out in California.
I had interviews lined up north of San Francisco, which was a 7hr drive from LAX. I would have to reschedule the interviews. But these were busy people, and they might not be able to reschedule. I might miss out on the interviews altogether.
And what about the luggage? They'd have to offload the luggage. Supposing the luggage got lost? I had the main Hard Drive with all our video rushes on that drive. Yes I had backups with me, but that main hard drive had the rushes that were all synced up, and logged and coded etc.
And what about the additional expense? I would have to buy new tickets, and with the extra accommodation etc, this could cost many hundreds of dollars.
I stood in that Skylink train and I allowed my fears, my guilt and my recriminations to run riot.
And then something strange happened.
I thought to myself: If I truly believed that the Cosmic Rays were most beneficial for me in Dallas, and that the Cosmos had my back, then why worry?
Everything will work out as it should.
Everything will work to divine order.
There might be a reason why I have to miss the flight. There might be a reason I have to stay back in Dallas one more day. Why think that missing the flight will be a disaster? It might end up being the best thing that's ever happened to me.
I thought: I have to trust, and surrender to what's unfolding. Because what's happening is happening for my higher good.
Immediately I felt calm.
Immediately my fear disappeared.
We got to our stop at 2:27pm.
It seemed to take forever for the train to finally stop and the doors to open. I rushed to the escalators. Again, they were so so long. I picked up my bags and bounded down the metal stairs two at a time.
I got to the bottom and looked for a sign to direct me to gate 34. I saw a sign which said – GATES A19-A34.
My heart sank.
That meant that Gate A34 would be right at the end of the terminal. Maybe a ten minute walk, minimum.
It was now 2:29pm.
I rushed off, with Jennifer trailing behind. I figured that if the gate was still open I could get them to wait for her.
But as I headed off I realised that gate A34 was right in front of me. It was just around the corner from the Skylink escalators.
Not only that but as I approached the gate I realised they hadn't even boarded. The gate was full of waiting passengers.
Boarding had been delayed because of a technical malfunction with the aircraft.