“This is my first time flying,” says the child, to the woman beside him.
“How exciting! How old are you?” she says.
“Five. How old are you?” he says.
“Old enough,” she says.
She takes out a set of pencils and a therapeutic coloring book.
“Would you like to color?”
The boy looks to his sister, who gives him the okay.
He colors. The plane takes off. He squims.
“I don’t like roller coasters,” he says.
The woman leans in.
“Neither do I,” she says.
The plane levels out.
“Do you have any children?” says the boy.
“Two,” she says, “my son is picking up from the airport.”
She digs through her carry-on.
“He wrote a book.”
The boy looks at the cover, which is in Greek.
“Does he speak a foreign language?” he says.
“No,” she says, “it’s from the Bible. It means masterpiece. We all are God’s masterpiece, see?”
She reads him the first page.
“Oh,” he says. “I know all about God. Mom takes us to church Wednesdays and Sundays. Dad is too busy. He has to work. We’re flying out to see him. He lives in North Carolina now.”
“I bet it will be good to see him,” says the woman, “I haven’t seen my son in some time, either.”
“Why’s that?” he says.
“Sometimes, people move away,” she says. “But we still love them anyway.”
“Yes, that’s true,” he says.
He colors. She reads. They touch down.
Moments of connect, then distance. A Universe shrinking and expanding, but always in motion.