A business man was late for his flight. He reached the boarding gate just before it closed. Sweating and out of breath, he scanned his boarding pass at the counter and quickly made his way to the plane.
Arriving at his seat, he greeted his companions for the next few hours: a middle-aged woman sitting at the window, and a little girl sitting on the aisle seat. After stowing his bag above, he took his place between them.
After the flight took off, he began a conversation with the little girl. She appeared to be about the same age as his daughter and was busy with her coloring book. He asked her a few usual questions, such as her age (eight), her hobbies (cartoons and drawing), as well as her favorite animal (horses are pretty, but she just loved cats). He found it strange that such a young girl would be traveling alone, but he kept his thoughts to himself and decided to keep an eye on her to make sure she was okay.
About an hour into the flight, the plane suddenly began experiencing extreme turbulence. The pilot came over the PA system and told everyone to fasten their seat belts and remain calm, as they had encountered rough weather.
Several times over the next half hour the plane made drastic dips and turns, shaking all the while. Some people began crying, and many―like the woman in the window seat―were praying intently. The man was sweating and clenching his seat as tightly as he could, and exclaim “Oh my God!” with each increasingly violent shake of the plane.
Meanwhile, the little girl was sitting quietly beside him in her seat. Her coloring book and crayons were put away neatly in the seat pocket in front of her, and her hands were calmly resting on her legs. Incredibly, she didn’t seem worried all.
Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the turbulence ended. The pilot came on a few minutes later to apologize for the bumpy ride and to announce that they would be landing soon. As the plane began its descent, the man said to the little girl, “You are just a little girl, but I have never met a braver person in all my life! Tell me, dear, how is it that you remained so calm while all of us adults were so afraid?”
Looking him in the eyes, she said, “My father is the pilot, and he’s taking me home.”
There are deep lessons in this story and each will find their own. This is the way I understand it…
The little girl represents our personality.
The journey, our life.
The man, the inner commentator.
The woman, represents the belief in a greater power.
The pilot, the girl’s father, represents our true nature, which is reliably guiding us back home, to itself.
The more we recognize our true nature and rest in it, the more we will trust our journey even when it gets really rough. This goes beyond believing in a greater power, for the greatest power is not somewhere above us, it is right here with us and within us, it is our true nature. And it doesn’t require belief, it requires recognition.
May this beautiful story inspire you and brighten your path. May you have a happy and colorful journey!