I left New York City this Monday morning after a long weekend of endless moments I'll always treasure. From reuniting with friends from Rome and Buenos Aires to nibbling on goodies at Eataly to chatting with the manager of REI in Soho to sitting on Washington square listening to a guy play piano in the park and to last but not least, going to an orthodox Jewish funeral on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx, it was magical.
But it didn't stop there.. On Monday I flew into Ronald Reagan in DC to catch a connecting flight to Rochester, NY. I missed the flight because I got so chatty on the phone with my buddy Dave from Prague. Whether it was speaking Czech that got my mind off the clock or something else remained to be seen. I darted through the airport, scurrying around and hustling to the gate only to arrive ten minutes after they'd sealed the plane. They were clear for departure, and I was clearly not departing, at least not on that flight even though the plane was 45 feet from me. I kidded the security personnel to let me through but they printed me off a ticket for late afternoon instead of giving in. Meanwhile, Dave had heard the whole thing take place. He was dying laughing at the series of events that he just witnessed over the phone. I told the ticket lady I had just met with the President, that I was his secret advisor and that she should let me on the plane. Dave laughed more.. Haha.. I sorta skipped away laughing and said guess what Dave, now I have three tickets!! I said to him "maybe I could use this one of these for a flight to Prague instead." Oh gosh, I felt like I'd just been in a dream, and maybe I was considering I'd only slept three hours the night before.
Dave and I finished our chat at a vacant gate, talking about possibilities and how they're like birds. They come and go, and if you reach out and grab them, they can send you soaring up to new heights! "It's like on my balcony in Prague" Dave said. "We have that thing to feed the birds out there, and we you have something in it the birds stay to eat it, but if you put nothing out for them, then they just go and fly away." Something hit me about the beautiful simplicity of what he and I just thought of, and all the while it was the intricacies of the Czech language that led us to make that comparison in the first place. Soon after, I told Dave I'd better call to Rochester and let my Aunt know I'd be in later. All the while I'd felt like I wasn't supposed to have gotten on the plane in the morning anyway. I called my Aunt, and we decided that who knows, maybe I'd meet someone interesting during the layover.
No sooner after I got up from eating a delicious sandwich at Potbelly's did I brush shoulders with a tall guy carrying a guitar. I'd had mine with me as well. "Wouldn't it be just great if we played a song" I said. He kinda laughed. I did a double take and said "he you're that guy from playing for change." He nodded. It was Keb' Mo' the famous grammy winner for best contemporary blues album and all the rest. I spoke to him about WalknTalk, and how I'd admired what he was doing with Playing for Change. He told me he was on his way to play at the inauguration party in Washington. We were about to part ways when I said "hey, do you mind if we play a quick tune before you leave." "You mean here, now?" "Yeah" I said. So we did. And here it is...
After we finished I gave him a Tom Sawyer. He went on his way and me on mine. I couldn't help but feeling like I'd just been blessed.
The birds, the feeder, what Dave said, our conversation, and the flight I "missed". It all seemed to make sense in such a beautiful way...
Who knew that meeting him would mean missing my flight. Or getting up to go to the bathroom at that moment would have lined us up perfectly. Either way, I just knew I'd been given a gift, and so I just said "Thank you."