In Love Actually, Hugh Grant paints a wonderful picture of the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport:
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
I’ve had a similar experience at the Check In desk of Manchester Airport today. I was fortunate enough to be stood very close to the escalator to the departure gates for about three hours, and during this time I was witness to so many moving scenes.
Whole families were turning out to say goodbye to one traveller. With brave faces, and love in their eyes they wished them well on their travels.
Fathers saying goodbye to their children as they left for a business trip.
A father trying so hard not to cry, as his 24 year old son left to start a new life in Japan.
Lovers kissing and crying as one of them was off to travel the world.
An engaged couple embracing, excited to be getting married abroad.
A whole family so excited because they were travelling to Cape Town to meet relatives they’d never met.
Nobody was angry. Nobody was rude. Nobody was abusive. It was a perfect three hours of love, and with the state of the world today, I wish everyone could have witnessed it.