Marvel at the Mundane

It was an early flight to Lexington from Des Moines. Really. Early.

Even too early for coffee. And I love coffee.

To Des Moines International Airport from Waukee in the dark. Check. Through security. Check. To gate with 20 minutes to spare. Check. Flight on time. Check. Boarded. Check. First rays of sunlight. Check.

The trip was all business. American Airlines to Lexington through Chicago for Alltech’s three-day annual convention. There were seminars to attend. Stories to write. Content to post on social media. Duties from the office to also get done in prep for a looming board meeting.

This young man reminded me that there’s marvelous in the mundane on an early-morning flight from Des Moines to Lexington. We’re never too old to forget that!

This young man reminded me that there’s marvelous in the mundane on an early-morning flight from Des Moines to Lexington. We’re never too old to forget that!

I was focused on getting there, getting the work done and getting home.

So focused not to notice the world around me. Or to really care.

Until a small voice first sounded behind me. It belonged to what I suspected was a young boy no more than three or four.

Didn’t take long to figure it was likely a maiden voyage.

“Daddy, look… up, up, up!” he crooned softly, tapping at the window.

Two seconds later: “Daddy, what’s that… look, it’s pulling wagons?”

“Daddy, are we going there?” he queried with a bounce, tapping again at the window, as an airplane on an adjacent runway tipped its nose into the air, ascending into the blue sky.

His daddy, who by my best account, could qualify for sainthood, did his best to keep up. He answered the rapid-fire questions. One. Then another. Still another.

Each answer only encouraged another question.

“Are we going to keep going up?” the boy asked as we ascended while the landing gear retreated underneath.

Before long, and without realizing it, I was following along with the three-year-old, peering where he was peering, noticing what he was noticing, wondering what he was wondering, seeking to understand what he was seeking to understand. Comparing notes. Wondering how I would answer the question if it was one of my three children who was three or four again and sitting beside me.

And before long, I was three or four again, marveling and what I had previously been too busy, distracted or bored to care about. Like the magic of being in a huge tube with wings with twin engines that accelerate it from zero to 200 miles per hour in less than 10,000 feet propelling passengers into the clouds with relative ease. Seriously. That is so awesome. And to think that before the young boy had found his way to the row behind me, I had forgotten to care and to be amazed at such an engineering feat that’s made travel so much more convenient.

When we deboarded in Chicago, I waited for them to appear just outside the jet bridge. I thanked them for changing my point of view and bringing me back into the day, and life. They were gracious and welcomed a photo. I was grateful again for so many things… the opportunity to travel, to fly, to attend such an awesome conference that had been on my bucket list for years; to work for such a great organization like the Iowa Soybean Association and represent the needs of farmers; to marvel at the ingenuity behind the airplane that can get us 400-500 miles down the road in just 60 minutes.

There’s indeed marvelous in the mundane. It shouldn’t take a three-year-old to remind us!

Aaron Putze