I had spent the day working with the wonderful faculty at Walnut Middle School in Grand Island, Nebraska. I was feeling tired as I drove two hours to the airport in Omaha. Little did I know as I boarded Delta flight 4146 to Minneapolis that I was about to meet an angel. Walking down the aisle to seat 19C, I put my luggage in the bin above and plopped into my seat. There she was sitting in 19D.

After introducing myself, she told me her name was Angel. “Are you going home?” I asked.

“No, I am going to Madison to visit my granddaughter in med school.”

Angel then began putting together a puzzle on her iPad. Noticing how fast she was completing the puzzle, I said, “You’re really good at that.”

“Well, I do it every day,” she said. “It’s good for my brain.”

A few minutes after take-off, she asked me a question I had never been asked before. “Paul, do you polka?” A bit surprised by the question, I told her that I had never polkaed and asked her if she had. “Every Friday night,” she responded.

She went on to say that after her husband died four years ago, she moved to Lincoln to be close to her twin sister. They had gone dancing every Friday since. It was then that I knew I was sitting next to someone who was ALIVE. I told her about the skipping girl in last week’s Wellness Wednesday and compared her to Angel’s polka dancing with her sister.

The little girl and Angel reminded me of a quote from Kate Volman’s book Do What You Love:

“Those soulful moments that bring you joy are pure magic.”

During the remainder of the flight, our conversation went in all sorts of directions. Prior to landing, Angel told me about an upcoming reunion she will have with 67 brothers, sisters, and cousins who are coming together from all over the United States and Canada. So, if you are in Lincoln, Nebraska, on September 9th, stop by the elementary gym where you can polka and experience pure magic. Until then, make sure you do something that you love.

When the plane landed, I was happy to be home, but I hated to leave my angel. I wished her well on her trip and walked through the airport with a refreshed spirit. It’s not every day that you meet someone who is ALIVE.

From our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who will be adding polka dancing to our Top 20 Training sessions.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training