Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Traveller's prayer

Today was another one of those bittersweet days, when I closed the door on my house and on my family and headed off for yet another new-to-me place in the world. I'm attending a conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I'm writing this from a quiet hotel room.

I'm in for a few intense days of learning and discussion with some very smart people from a very large and successful global technology organization. It's a privilege to be here, and I will, as always, make the most out of my being here.

Yet it is during quiet times like this that I once again find myself pondering the why of business travel, and hope that this time away from my family helps me continue to build on my ability to move the bar ever higher. It's the least I can do to justify in my mind the fact that I'm losing three sleeps, three tuck-ins, three breakfasts...

A five-year-old, after all, don't always understand why Daddy isn't there to help him get his jammies on. Concepts like providing and striving for a better standard of living are still beyond his grasp. And if I have it my way, he'll be blissfully unaware for a long time to come.

When I first got here, I noticed this on my bed. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen in a hotel before. And once I looked past the overtly religious overtones, I rather appreciated the sentiment, as it speaks to these thoughts that have been bouncing through my head all day. Here's what it says:
To Our Guests

In ancient times there was a prayer for

"The Stranger within our gates"

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people,
And not solely a money making organization,
we hope that God will grant you peace and rest
while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your "second" home.
May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.
Even though we may not get to know you,
we hope that you will be comfortable and happy
as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper.
May ever call you make and every message you receive add to
your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all tralevers.
From "birth till death" we travel between eternities.
May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society,
helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those
who know and love you best.
Your turn: As I write this, word has come out of a major plane crash in the Black Sea. I've always been a confident flyer, but when the same type of plane (Airbus A320) that you've just flown - and that will carry you home in a few days - goes down, it gets you thinking about how unfair life can be sometimes. Please hold the victims of that tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.


Linda said...

I will be praying for those souls. I will be flying over the ocean in a few months myself and worry about it, but I can't let it stand in the way. I do not let fear guide me, only God.

I've BEEN to Ft. Collins, CO! I lived (in the Air Force) in Cheyenne, WY and we used to go "over the border" to drink 3.2 beer that was legal for 18 year olds. Of course, that was 20 years or so ago...I'm sure the place has changed.

I loved the traveller's prayer, thank you for sharing.

kenju said...

Will do, Carmi, and how apropos that prayer would have been for them. I have to laud any hotel that provides that to its guests!

I think of all the men I have known who travelled for business, and the impact on their kids, and you are the only one whose children will not be too adversely affected by your absence. The reason is that when you are with them, you are so hands on, so intensely a father, that it sustains them when you are away.

A Woman Changed said...

Welcome to Colorado! I'm sorry to see that the weather isn't behaving and giving you bright, sunny days. Thank you for sharing the little card and its sentiment.

Grins said...

I have a friend that flies the Airbus. Worried for him the moment I heard the story. Thankfully he checked in safe and sound.

Sandy said...

Carmi, safe travel to you. That prayer is beautiful and kudos to the hotel for sharing it.

It's never easy on the nerves to hear of tradegy, no matter how confident a travler we normally are. I tend to avoid the news when my husband is away for stretches. He returned home last week and will be back overseas in another three weeks. Hearing of the recent protests held in the very city he's headed to had not been a warm fuzzy for me.

My prayers are with those touched by this recent air crash and all those that are/will be traveling.

Prego said...

I've been flying since I was inside my mother's womb (she moved to the US six months pregnant with yours truly). I was always comfortable with it until my late 20s.

I know have a ritual - where I knock three times on the exterior of the plane when I enter (to see if any nuts or bolts fall off). I guess humor helps me with my uneasiness. As I disembark, I pat it gently in the same spot to say, "Thanks."

You never know, I guess, so you just have to trust science and hope the fates have other plans for you... especially that Atropos.

The other thing I do is make sure I have ice cream, so that if the sh*t goes awry, I'll remember the last time I had it.

Take care, bro. Be safe.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I rather like that thing the Hotel left on your bed...at least they are telling you they will try to make your stay pleasant, and wishing you a good nights sleep in a hoetl room is a rather good thing---Hope tyat was the case fir you Carmi...

These plane tragedy's are pretty scary and so terrible for all who lost their lives and for their loved ones...and old friend, now gone himself, lost his young son in that tragedy over Lockerbee....He never ever got over that loss...and I am afraid it shortened his life, as well. I will pray for all of the people who survive those lost in this most recent tragedy. As always Carmi, you give us thoughtful words and so much heart.

surcie said...

Carmi, someday your kids will get to read your blog. And if they don't know deep-down how much you miss them when you're gone, they will!

Karen said...

Hi Carmi! I think of and pray for victims of disasters every day. And I can't get on a plane without worrying that I won't see my family again. However, keep in mind that it's actually much safer to fly in a plane than in a car. Hope you can find some time to relax on this trip.

Hi from Wisconsin. *waves*

Morah Mommy said...

My heart goes out to all the poor souls and their families...but please don't talk about plane crashes. I don't think I really breath until you have landed back in London.

We can't wait for you to come home, again!!

Jef said...

I stayed at Jekyll Island Club Hotel over the weekend, but I didn't receive a prayer--just hand lotion. However, it was very good hand lotion.

Obviously, the loss of life is tragic, but flying doesn't tend to bother me. The way I see it, if I'm not lucky enough to be the one in 14 billion people to win the lottery, why would I be that one in 14 billion people to die in a plane crash?

srp said...

My daughter's father didn't travel for business, he just didn't have his priorities straight and his family came after everything else. I was around and still am. I know she hurts and is angry at him at times, but all in all she has managed to do well.

Judy is right. You are obviously a loving father who gives as much quantity time as possible and ALWAYS gives your kids quality time.

I loved that prayer left in the room. How unique and comforting.

CanEragon said...

I've never seen that before, but it is a wonderful welcome to a home away from home. Beyond the religious tones of the prayer, there are core values and hopes for the visiting guest, universal thoughts of goodness prosperity and safety "inside the gates."

That you are such a wonderful family man, words as these must bring warmth to your heart far away from home, and what a wonderful feeling that someone took the time to think about guests in that way.

Every trip you take offers you something to bring back in story form for the family and for us your readers.


Viamarie said...

Will include them in my prayers.

Thanks for sharing the prayer. I rarely travel but who knows God might grant my wish of traveling to a foreign countryone of these days.

Karen said...

Carmi, I'm back again to say hello. I reread this prayer and it's really lovely. I'm wondering if this is a chain hotel. It can't be, but do share the name if it is.

Hope your conference is going well.