Do you have a favorite restaurant? I have plenty of favorite restaurants. Typically my favorite restaurants are of the white-linen variety, notable only because my husband’s are of the food-in-your-hand variety. Given that you’ll be surprised to learn that this restaurant, Waji’s, a humble Japanese food stand on Concourse C in SeaTac airport is and will forever be a special place for me. These days I typically pass it when rushing, half-asleep with the rest of the early-bird (nerd bird) commuters to catch the 6am Seattle – San Jose flight. Every time, even if I’m power-napping as I walk, I find myself slowing down and standing, staring for just a moment at the green and red neon. Sometimes I stare through the closed grating. Always my heart races just a little.
On September 1st 2010 Murph and I shared a beer at Waji’s waiting for our flight to Miami and on to Quito, Ecuador.
We had packed up our life, packed in our jobs and boxed up our belongings.
Our children sat by the gate.
We all sat waiting.
At one point Murph and I clinked glasses.
“We’ve really done it now Murphy”.
He squeezed my knee and we kissed just as BigB came running back to tell us it was time to board.
We gathered our bags and boarded, the very first steps in a 365-day, 26-country journey.
The emotion of that moment, a flood of excitement and adrenalin. The warmth of love for my life-partner. The affection and energy of my reluctantly excited children.
All of this comes back to me every time I stand outside Waji’s. It’s like an echo over time and experiences but clear as a bell as if I’d just hollered “Hallo” across the canyon of now and then.
It warms my heart.
It reinvigorates me.
It helps me tolerate the humdrum of today with memories of what I did yesterday and the belief that I can do even more tomorrow.