I’m in transit today, headed home from a wonderful business/pleasure trip with friends.
On the first leg of today’s journey, on a tiny two propeller plane somewhere over Oregon, we hit turbulence.
The kind of turbulence that has you coming up out of your seat.
The kind of turbulence that makes you feel as if you were on a roller coaster and sends your stomach leaping into your throat and your hands grasping at your armrests.
The kind of turbulence that has the entire plane gasping as one, lips and tongues tripping over prayers and eyes closed lest they see they front of the plane tilting.
Throughout all the gasping, exclaiming, squeaks of fear and mumbled prayers…I heard one voice calm and soothing in the midst of the fear and chaos.
One light in the dark.
The voice belonged to a young lady in a seat near me.
While this young lady herself was in distress, her seatmate was in tears and nearly hyperventilating with fear.
Instead of giving in to her own fear this young lady calmly and soothingly talked to her seatmate throughout the entire ordeal. She laughed with her, kept her talking and spoke with wisdom and caring far beyond her years. I don’t know that her words were as important to her seatmate as was her presence, her tone, her patience… her heart.
Once we cleared the turbulence, there was an audible sigh of relief and an immediate cacophony of relieved chatter filled the tiny plane, and yet this young lady’s voice lingered in my head.
Sitting here in the airport, I keep thinking back to those brutally long minutes of turbulence, of the nearly palpable fear filling the tiny plane and this one young lady’s ability to step beyond herself and calm someone else’s fear, to be a balm to her soul.
It makes me think about the every day world, our every day lives…
When I am faced with turbulence, do I give in to the fear and let it sweep me away, or do I take deep breaths and remain calm?
Who do I want to be when the rocky times come? Those times in which I have no control over anything but my own reaction?
It’s amazing the impact one person can have on another.
How do you handle turbulence in your life?
Are you the calm, soothing voice riding it out, or do you get swept along losing control?
Read more of Rachel Matthews’ writing about food, parenting, life and Texas at A Southern Fairytale
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