I can’t recall ever having a layover in San Diego before. The convenient part was the arrival and departure gates were adjacent to each other. Easy plane change for a 45-minute layover. I made my way over the few steps to the line for my connecting flight and stood behind a young couple standing on either side of a stroller holding what looked to be about an 8-month old baby boy.
The baby’s eyes and mine locked on each other and didn’t let go. He smiled. I smiled. Daddy lowered a spoonful of yogurt toward his mouth but his lips were closed. I opened my mouth as if I were feeding him with the thought he would mimic me and open up. He did, and took in the yogurt. He continued to stare and smile. So did I, expecting at any moment that Dad or Mom would turn to look at me; this man with whom their child was so intently engaging. They would nod. I would smile. “Nice baby,” I would say. “Thanks,” they would respond. And the spell would be broken. But it never happened. They never turned.
Baby and I continued to stare; our eyes locked and joyful. “It’s good to see you again,” I thought. “You, too,” he replied.
As clear as any feeling I’ve ever had, I knew I knew him from previous lifetimes. And I knew he knew me. I just knew.
“That’s ridiculous,” I thought as doubt crept in. I smiled one last time, turned and walked away. I walked around for maybe ten minutes before returning. The boy and his parents hadn’t budged an inch. He looked at me and smiled.
“Welcome back,” I felt.
“Thanks,” I replied. “You’re going to have a great life.”
“Yeah, exactly what I need.”
“It really is good to see you again,” I thought.
“You, too,” his eyes said.
Our smiles never wavered, nor did our gaze for the next several minutes until the flight began to board. As I settled into my seat I felt renewed confidence that all is well with the world. We’re all on our way home and we’re walking this incredible journey together.
And every once in a while, when we pay attention as we look into the eyes of a fellow traveler, we recognize an old friend.
We see each other.