Sand in the Gears

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October 26th, 2010 Posted in Snapshots of Life

Filing off the plane with our recalcitrant roller bags, our ponderous satchels. Ahead on the jet bridge, an elderly woman stumbles and goes down hard, face first. A young woman drops her own bags and kneels beside the old woman, who is disoriented, who is bleeding from her face, who should not be traveling alone. The young woman barks orders at watching gate attendants for napkins, a bandage, paramedics. She speaks soothingly to the distraught woman. She helps her wipe the blood from her face and mouth. She cares not one whit for the people queuing behind her and her abandoned bags that are like a blockade. She quiets the woman and stays by her side until help arrives. We all of us file slowly past, humbled in the presence of selflessness.