I feel sorry for adults. One look at them standing next to a child at an airport and you realise that with all their years behind them, they have missed something. Or lost it. A train station is no different, or a canning factory, or a dry dock. A child will stare in fascination for hours, asking a hundred questions – or perhaps just standing quietly in awe – whilst an adult will over skim over the wonderous plethora of on-goings and mentally tick off “Train station. Please where trains arrive and leave. Place where I must catch my train by 14.10 or I shall be late, and then angry.”

Thankfully, the children of this earth (those not addicted to their smartphones) remind us each time the absolutely fascinating show going on before our eyes. Just how on earth does a plane take off? A huge hunk of metal weighing in at many tonnes lifts off the ground with simply air? Air! Air weights nothing. Air passing under a wing somehow catapults (not literally) that plane into the sky. With all those passengers. And their baggage. And their stories. Those last two often well interlinked. And a child gets it, but an adult: perhaps not. 

As long as I can remember I have always found the airport a fascinating place. How does all the baggage end up on the right plane. How do they pack it? How do they sort it? If yours goes in last does it come out first? Is there a moral leaning there as set out by the airports company because, that isn’t really fair, is it? Maybe it is the captains choice – it’s “his” plane after all, or hers #moderngendernorms – or could it be those packing the plane, or the person checking in your baggage. Maybe they suss you out, based on your politeness, the warmth of your face, your smile, even your level of attraction… Who knows? But I do wonder.

Just that train of thought, and a million questions arise. One bag, one route, one destination, one hundred thoughts spring up. And this really is what we were made to do – to question, to think, to ponder, to debate, to imagine… and that is just how flight was born. We saw birds fly and someone wondered: is this limited to our feathered friends? Or can we fly? Icarus into the sun. Those Wright brothers into the future. And apparently some Koreans (this is a side story, where that nation believes they invented modern day flight).

All this to say, never lose your wonder. If you are in danger of doing so, find a child that has been brought up properly and then watch them watch. See what intrigues them. Allow them to question every little thing. And partake in their wonder of the world. It may not be an airport for you (I happen to have a fascination with transport, and engineering, and such – stay tuned for writings on Crossrail, in London) but whatever is your poison, delve deeper, and enjoy. And please, pretty please may it be something that goes beyond a fictionalised story on a wide screen.

Thank you, I am out. 

PS. I feel guilty that I did not write this from an airport. Next time!