The other day, not being busy, we decided to circumnavigate Terminal 1 of Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport (hereinafter LBPIA). On foot.
No, no, that’s not true, we didn’t quite circumnavigate it, although as we doubled back completely on our seemingly endless path (one way!) from arrival gate to Canada Customs (Connecting Flights subdivision)–Oh look, there’s our arrival gate on the other side of the glass–and hopped awkwardly on-and-off occasional moving sidewalks before being spit out into the domestic-flights concourse at the farthest-possible remove from where we next needed to be, it certainly *felt* true.
It was, we might say, our trudged experience.
I live in Ottawa. The local Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (name review pending, I’m sure, since the statue of Macdonald and Cartier that used to adorn the Arrivals Hall has already been removed) is too small to use the moving sidewalks that are a feature of larger airports. That day, even before our LBPIA expotition, we had used them extensively as we wandered Denver International Airport (I would say “wisely named after no one” but of course the airport was named for the city which was named by a land speculator for an 1850s territorial governor for the purpose of influencing his decision on where to locate the seat of county government, although news travelled so slowly then that the namer didn’t realize Denver-the-man was no longer governor, which is a sad waste of an attempted, albeit unsubtle, influence operation. News has not yet reached me on whether the namesake was then, or is now, problematic.).
Anyway, this week, for the first time, the moving sidewalk was not just (pick all that apply):
- a welcome mobility assist in otherwise endless corridors
- a stumbling/tripping hazard
- a source of embarrassment as younger passengers stride past on the unassisted portion of the corridor (even past a senior walking steadily, dagnab it, along the moving sidewalk)
No, for the first time the moving sidewalk struck me as a metaphor for living in community.
Are groups and organizations and even my whole society already moving–however slowly–in the direction I want to go? Do the elements of my life and my community offer me a welcome assist as I trudge along? Or am I moving entirely under my own power? Or, even harder, am I effectively running up a down-escalator, having to overcome movement exactly counter to my intended direction?
It is what it is, I guess, and there’s nothing inherently wrong about doing it all by myself or even moving counter-flow: It might be the best decision for me and for my community. But I can think about whether and how to leverage the moving sidewalks that are laid out for me.