03-08, The Magic Mapsita

Mapsita – A magical moment one can have with another person anywhere that’s totally unexpected.

When I walked down the narrow airplane aisle, I was sure that I’d follow my typical pattern last night. I’d briefly glance at my fellow passengers. Keep my eye on the prize of the window seat, no matter how far back I had to go to get it. I was finally immune to being in the last row – because staring out of the window at the ocean of luminescence is always my favorite part. I find the infinite beauties from the sky to just be mesmerizing.

But something happened! As I found myself just a few rows down, that open aisle seat with a passenger already in my coveted spot and no one in the middle suddenly seemed very appealing. It’s so much closer to the front, I considered. I could get off way faster. It’s already 12:40 a.m. I just wanna get home as soon as possible.

My bemusing rang loud and clear, so I quickly asked before I changed my mind, “Is anyone sitting here?” She answered as quickly, “Oh no. No, no one’s sitting here.” I felt I had to explain myself. “I usually get a window seat, but – I thought this one looked good.” She smiled, so did I. I put one carry on bag above my head and the other under the seat, well acquainted with this routine.

I figured we’d exchange a few more sentences of cordial conversation and I’d then busy myself for the two hour ride back to Colorado. I felt it was important to ask her name (as all friendly Texans do) and then I’d be on with my self-entertaining; but, when I did, she stumped me. “Mapsita,” she replied.

“Mapsita?” I asked.

“Yes, Mapsita.” Then she spelled it.

Now, I’m a teacher. I’ve heard more unique names than most, and I’m always excited to hear something different, see something different and give my best guess at how to pronounce it if I read it before they say it. But this lady didn’t look like a Mapsita. She was from a small town in Oklahoma that had less than 3,000 people in it when she grew up.

And that’s when it got magical. Mapsita and I were immersed in a lively conversation that took up the entire duration of the flight – with no breaks, and no kidding. I mean there was kidding between us, in fact, we laughed so hard and so often, I thought we might have disturbed our neighbors! I say, “no kidding,” because I’ve flown since I was 9 and met many a passenger en route to another city; but, I’ve never had a two hour conversation with any of them. Mapsita was the most intriguing, delightful person with whom I’ve ever engaged on a plane.

So surreal was my enjoyment of this encounter, that I began to wonder if she was even real! And I told her that. We shared a love for literacy. Had similar educational interests and backgrounds. She told story after story and I insisted, she should be writing. She noted, she’d been considering. I fell in love with her daughter Lilly, her wordsmith dad, who’d since passed away, her mom who’d lived for over 80 years, Ms. Rhonda the family friend and bestie of her teenage daughter.

And then I was enchanted by the letters that her daughter wrote regularly to Mapsita’s dad, her grandfather. How she’d saved every one, some even framed. How Mapsita had traveled the world, hosted six exchange students in their home when she was a girl from Japan, Colombia, and Belgium. I went with her on her journeys through her trips with six girlfriends – listening to the stories where we both laughed without end. I strolled through the places she’d lived with every new tale in Louisiana, Alaska, and my favorite (for too many reasons, Katy, Texas).

I did not get her number. I don’t even know her last name. But I don’t need to. If I never saw her again, I felt like I’d met a friend that I’d known and would know – for all my life. I was amazed at the power of one conversation to connect us so quickly and genuinely. Mapsita, was magic.

Funny story. I must have had a look of confusion as she explained her name. “My parents liked it,” she noted. “Somebody they knew, a family friend, had that name, and they gave it to me. They called her when I was born and asked how to spell it.”

“Wow,” I remarked. “Now, that’s different. I’ve heard a lot of different names, but never a Mapsita.”

“Well, it’s pretty common in Singapore, apparently. I have friends from there that told me. All of my siblings and parents have plain names. I guess they wanted to change it up. It’s actually Native American. I’m from Oklahoma, and I’m told it means ‘early dawn.'” she chuckled.

Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to add to the definition of Mapsita’s meaning, too. Mapsita for me means, “a magical moment one can have anywhere that is totally unexpected.

I never imagined that I’d have a flight-long conversation with a stranger who felt like a family friend. I wasn’t looking forward to the late night flight, I was exhausted and forfeited my coveted window seat. Mapsita didn’t look like me, sound like me, or know anything about me. Yet our connections were innumerable and our paths easily paralleled in many ways.

Here’s a thought. What if we lowered our barriers and presuppositions for just a moment, and deeply connected with humans that don’t look like us everyday? Is it possible we could get along better with everyone else? Mere wonderings… What do I know…

I informed Mapsita within minutes that she’d be famous by Sunday morning.

“I’m definitely writing about you on my blog for my ‘Slice of Life’ tomorrow,” I insisted.

Promise kept. Treasure gained.

P.S. I gave her my blog’s address.

P. P. S. I told her, I want to read her stories. I’m not sure if she knows (or believes it) yet, but Mapsita is a writer – and I can’t wait for the dawn of her many stories yet to be told.

Moral of the story. We’re all connected to everyone. Take the time to get to know somebody that you think you may know, but don’t. I’ve never met a kinder stranger in my life. What a wonderful Mapsita.

#bestflightever #Ihopeshepursuesherpassion #shereadseveryday #shelookedlikemeontheinside #friendsforever #magicintheair #carlamichelle #speaker #writer #coach

18 thoughts on “03-08, The Magic Mapsita

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth! I felt like it was such a gift to have met her! I couldn’t think of any better way to express my thanks than to share that moment with the world. #grateful ❤️


  1. Loved this slice — I too have Mapsitas on flights. I love connecting with people – especially when you least expect it. You unfolded this story with the perfect pace and tension. Your reflections about our interactions and connections is an important one. We need to be aware of how we center and be open to making connections. Thank you for sharing – I hope she finds this post and enjoys!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked it, Clare! I think this has been one of my favorites! I know there are many people of whom we should be wary, but it makes me that much more thankful for the ones that feel like instant friends. I hope she gets to read it, too! She made quite the impression on me :o)


  2. I loved this story. All too often we do not converse with others. We stay glued to technology, don’t make eye contact, and stay in our bubble. I also like how you created your own meaning for Mapsita. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer. It is a reminder to me of why I love writing so much. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to take your thoughts and share a wonderful (or even painful) experience. I am so grateful that a Slice of Life has compelled me to write everyday. It is most rewarding. #sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This story was a joy to read, line after line of kismet and happiness. Thank you for brightening my dreary afternoon,and for the reminder to reach out, communicate, and connect. Happy Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cmargocs, you have made my day! And you taught me a new word, lol. I had to look up kismet! I am so glad to have brightened your day. There’s just so many gloomy things communicated in our world right now.

      I find myself seeking the positive more often than not. I’m just over the sadness that keeps seeping into our media everywhere. May you have continued sunshine even when there are clouds in the sky. ~Carla Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an important slice. The way to build connections is to be a connector. That’s you.

    Your ending . . . “Moral of the story. We’re all connected to everyone. Take the time to get to know somebody that you think you may know, but don’t. I’ve never met a kinder stranger in my life. What a wonderful Mapsita.”


    1. Fran, I am truly honored! This is among my favorite parts of this piece, too. I never thought of myself as a “connector,” but I find myself taking a liking to this term! Consider it official. ~Carla the Connector #loveit


  5. Wow! I just saw this. I’m slightly computer illiterate, and was occasionally checking your blog only to find the same article. It took me until today (Insert snicker from my teenager and engineer husband.) to notice the menu and find the different articles. What an amazing ability you have to tell a story. The joy was all mine on that flight. I never choose a window seat—always an aisle in case I need the restroom. For some reason that flight I decided my bladder could hold it and sat at the window. Now I know why. Loved meeting you. Thank you for such kind words, but thank you for your inspiring spirit more! Now you have my email!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MAPSITAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I’m so glad to have “found” you!

      I didn’t know if you’d ever get to read it, but I’m so glad you did!!! And you ma’am, are quite the storyteller yourself! Hence, my wonderful impression of you.

      I hope you read the other comments and see how wonderfully you’ve impacted others through our connection. I will tell you the day I posted your story, my readers came from the US, India and Germany. In the last three weeks, your story has been viewed nearly a hundred more times and from several other countries.

      Our conversation still resonates with me greatly and always will. I’m so happy to hear that you came across this page. Meeting you was quite the blessing. I clicked on your name for an e-mall, but none appeared. Nevertheless, you can e-mail me anytime at carla@carlambrown.com.

      May our paths one day cross again in the future. Until then, I eagerly anticipate reading your stories!

      ~Carla Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

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