Posted by: Laura A. H. Elliott | April 25, 2010

Fact or Fiction: What stories do you have about being stranded while traveling?

It had been hours. The sun set very late in Provence in the summer. She didn’t really know how late until she’d been separated from her family. It was 10pm and the purple sunset captivated her. It would be midday at home.

At first, she was so very nervous. All alone. With very little money. No passport. Not knowing where the train had taken her family. If her daughter was still sick. Full of questions. They thought they’d have more time to get off the train with their young girls and all the luggage. Even talked about how quick they’d need to be. But just as she got off to set her bag down and shepherd her sick daughter off the train, the doors to the TGV closed. Her daughter clutched her baby blanket tighter and cried out behind the glass. She watched her precious little girl and the rest of her family speed away, on down the line.

But as the sky lit lavender above the lavender fields just beyond the concrete steps of the train station at Avignon where she’d been sitting and waiting for hours, why she wasn’t sure, the afternoon of worry drained right out of her and she watched the changing colors of the sky. Took a deep, full breath and enjoyed the beautiful, unexpected moment of absolute peace that came her way in the middle of not knowing where she would go or what she would do next. How she would find her family. The concrete step her temporary home away from home. She lit a cigarette. Watched the purple clouds turn a hot pink. And as pink faded to blue, blue to dark blue and finally into night, when the light of the first star caught her eye she heard the most beautiful voice in the whole world call her name. She turned around. Her husband walked down the steps and gave her a hug. A hug she can still feel. She and her husband smiled and half laughed. And said in the minute of silence they took to just stare at each other that they knew they’d find one another and at the same time didn’t. Her husband and their girls had made their way back to Avignon from their unscheduled trip to Marseilles. Her daughter still burning from fever.

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