Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas, Chicago!

As I was flying to and fro this Christmas holiday (managing to see all of my children and grandchildren), I took advantage of the many hours of flight time to ponder the blessings of my life.

First and foremost is my usually quiet and very private faith. Second, but not far behind at all, is the love that I have in my life, for and from and because of my family.

As we were approaching the Chicago-Midway airport for my transfer, I watched the highways and streets and roads below. We flew over a patchwork of homes and offices and fields, all separated and connected at the same time by some type of road.

It was 5 PM in Chicago and as I looked down from the descending flight I couldn't help but notice that there were very few cars out. The roads were covered in packed snow. The lights reflected off the crystalized ice. And people were home, as they should have been. It was Christmas Eve.

As we descended even closer to the ground, but not quite over airport property, a single vehicle moved past driveways and homes as it drove down an empty street. No other car was visible.

I leaned my head to the window, wishing I was already in New York for Christmas Eve with two of my sons and my daughter-in-law and granddaughter, and watched as the car slowed and then turned into a private drive on the side of a brightly decorated brick home (yes, we could see the Christmas lights from the air). I felt some odd connection with the driver as a warmth of gratitude filled my heart. He (or she) was home, or soon to be with family and friends. And it was Christmas Eve.

New York was only one plane and a few hours away; I could hardly wait to get there. But as we flew over the glowing homes and empty streets, I couldn't help but feel gratitude for all that I have.

And, in that moment I was grateful that he (or she) was home for Christmas Eve, and I quietly whispered against the cool pane....

Merry Christmas, Chicago.

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