I live by LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York, and as I sit on my twin-sized bed I watch the planes dip below the clouds, glide flat for awhile, and then disappear below the horizon. It’s not a corn field horizon like Iowa, it’s buildings, some big, some long, some lit up, some dimmed. The plane touches down on the runway and many hearts become whole again; they’re home. New York is their home. “Welcome home,” people greet. Smiles, hugs, cherished moments.
For some though, landing at LaGuardia makes them antsy in their seats, makes them smile from ear-to-ear on the inside, but keep a cool, calm grin on the outside, to act like they’ve done this before — like they are a true New Yorker. Landing at LaGuardia means their dream is coming true. The dream of living in the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of!” The dream of working in the publishing world and feeling important and contributing. Contributing to the success of an amazing company, meeting and making new friends, creating their own New York welcome home team.
It will be the most amazing and challenging time of their life. More amazing than seeing Nysnc in concert and skipping school in fourth grade; more amazing than becoming news editor of their college daily after working there two months; more amazing than graduating high school and college; even more amazing than everything they’ve done this far.
Landing in LaGuardia is home for many, a sense of relief from a long, hard trip and for some it’s a long-time-coming dream to their future. For this on-looker, these planes now mean that in two weeks I will be on one, gliding diagonally upward on my way to where the Iowa on-lookers sit in their bedrooms watching the planes disappear behind corn fields and nothing else. I will unbuckle my seatbelt at the gate as instructed, gather my carry-on, stand up, walk through security, and into the arms of my mother who will say with tears in her eyes, “Welcome Home!”