On my way to a book fair

By Paulo Coelho

I was flying from New York to Chicago to attend the book fair held by the American Booksellers Association. Suddenly, a young man stood up in the aisle of the plane and announced:

‘I need twelve volunteers each willing to carry a single rose when we get off the plane.’

Several people raised their hands. I did too, but I wasn’t chosen.

Even so, I decided to follow the group. We landed and the young man indicated a young woman in the arrivals hall at O’Hare airport. One by one, the passengers presented their roses to her. At last, in front of everyone, the young man asked her to marry him, and she accepted.

An air steward said to me:

‘I’ve been working here for years, and that’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened in this airport.’

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Comments

  1. rosa de los vientos says:

    yes, is the most romantic thing. I like it.

  2. Lea says:

    every time i read this little story it just makes me smile :) so sweet.

  3. anuradha says:

    yeah i read it in a ‘like the flowing river’

  4. Radiance says:

    My tender and beautiful soul and heart,
    as usually, all your stories are interesting, teaching us lessons and feeding our hearts with love which is and will remain the most important value in this life..
    i have to do a presentation tomorrow at school, the subject is not imposed by our trainer, so, while walking this morning to school i got a great idea to do my presentation about the most powerful man in this life who could save my soul from lost, who could help me to reach freedom and wisdom, who always touches my heart with his wonderful writing.. my presentation tomorrow will be about Paulo Coelho, about You..
    since my classmates always asking me how did i get to build my confidence and have faith in my self, i will answer their question tomorrow.. i hope the whole world read you, the whole world is surrounded by sleeping souls, you are the wake up call to those who want to live life the best way, you are Love, you are a treasure from heaven.. you have a golden heart Paulo.
    i love you and thank you from the deepest part of my heart, for everything that you did and do to my soul..
    I WANT THE WHOLE WORLD TO KNOW THAT PAULO IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SOUL ON THIS EARTH, I WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD, RICH, POOR, CLEVER, STUPID, BEAUTIFUL, UGLY, ARROGANT, MODEST….. WHOEVER YOU ARE MY DEAR SISTER AND BROTHER, YOUR HEART NEEDS FOOD AS YOUR STOMACH DOES, TO FEED YOUR HEART, DON`T GO TO SUPERMARKET, GO TO THE BOOK SHOP, START WITH THE `ALCHEMIST` AND YOU WILL SEE HOW YOUR WHOLE LIFE WILL CHANGE, PLEASE TRUST ME, PLEASE…
    THANKS TO ALL WHO SPEND TIME TO READ MY MESSAGE, AND PLEASE EXCUSE MY POOR ENGLISH.
    WITH LOVE TO ALL,
    R.

  5. Jim Courbis says:

    Be Cause……you are the Rose……….12 in 1…..and you are looking Love……….
    Kind Regards
    Jim Courbis

  6. Karen says:

    I’m wondering why TWELVE roses?

  7. Nina says:

    Such a beautiful and romantic story!

    I’m sure it was a day to remember not only for the couple, but for every single person at the airport.

    Just another miracle in our day-to-day lives.

    Thank you, Paulo.
    Hugs & kisses

  8. Yasmin says:

    Even though the ultimate beautiful act is that of showing love; I did not perceive this story as “sweet”, I thought it to be sad. It took an overt act of love for the stewardess to notice love and beauty in her daily routine. I think it to be sad that she does not notice the smiling faces, passionate kisses, heartfelt hugs, and tears of joy that loved ones share each time their loved one returns. If the stewardess does not take notice of these acts, think of all the other subtle, but immensely beautiful, expressions of love that she misses every day. Lesson learned.

  9. Prashant Girinath says:

    Dear Paulo,

    The gesture by the young man was indeed romantic. The fact that people including yourself followed out of curiosity and witnessed this act of purity and deep love is even more gratifying, because that is what in its turn will beget more love for and from all who witnessed.

    On a separate note, I was at the Book fair in Manhattan as part of Passionateliving.com. I had been looking forward to the breakfast event for the last few weeks at least and was indeed excited at the prospect of witnessing you in person(Your works helped me bring out the voice in my heart which always told me to be a storyteller and wanderer)

    Sunday morning dawned bright and early and I arrived at the Penn Station on 34th and 8th street. I had enough time to make it to the event and hence I decided to walk down to the venue. There was song in my step, excitement in my eyes and a smile on my face. There was a childish enthusiasm in me which I would only have while going to meet someone close to the heart. Manhattanites were smiling at me more than usual and it was a nice place to be.

    Just as I was about to get off 34th street to get into the book expo someone cried out my name from a taxi cab. It was a long-lost friend who I knew briefly in Toronto. I ran over to say hello. I was duly informed that she was leaving for Israel that day and the only time we could spend together would be between 8am and 10am.

    I had to decide between spending the morning with a not-so-close friend I may never meet again in life or listening to you speak (a man I hold in great regard and a man who’s writing I found by divine providence).

    I went ahead with the lady. My heart said that she needed me. I went for the cup of coffee. It was uneventful, we played catch up, did some small talk. She then remarked “Prashant, for some reason, I have been thinking about you more and more over the last week. I have been troubled about my place in life. I don’t seem to love what I am doing right now. Yet everybody tells me to continue with it because it makes me rich and happy. They say I will get used to it. I started thinking what happiness was and I could only think of you as a happy person I knew

    I proceeded to reinforce her belief in her heart and humbly suggest that my happiness was because of following what I believed was my true calling! I informed her, I simply do what my heart tells me!

    When we left the cafe, it was too late to witness you. But I believe I had a role to play in her life and she had a role to play in mine.

    Maybe I wasn’t supposed to see you that way. Not from an audience of a few hundred people with you seated at an inaccessible distance. Maybe one day our lives will overlap in physical presence. On some pilgrimage, or some walk down an alley, will our paths cross. I know I will witness the man who has inspired me. Yesterday was just not the right day!

    Thank you for all your writing Mr Coelho. You are a man I sincerely love.

  10. rosa de los vientos says:

    yes, is the most romantic thing. I like it.

  11. Olá Paulo!
    Atma Namaste, Beautiful Soul! :)

    Simple and beautiful things that can make the universe change for a moment. Simple and powerful acts that can make the time stop for a while. Simple and sweet acts of Love that can stay in our memories forever. Simple examples that can make us believe in Life and know that our Beloved Mother Earth can be a good place again, if we let the Love of our Hearts flows more freely. That’s our best power: the power of Love in our lifes. Give a rose to your love today. Give a rose to your neighbour. Give a rose to someone that smiled to you. Open your Heart and let the magical of Life flows through your soul.

    Let’s love today! :)

    That’s why I love you so much… You talk to our souls, Paulo. And you teach us all to see the Beauty of Life and Love in everything, even in a simple and so poetic act with the guy and the roses.
    One more time, thank YOU! :)

    From my heart to yours,
    Love & Light!

    Marta :)

    P.S.: To the sweet guys in the world: did Paulo Coelho teachs something new for you to do with this history? :) And to the lovely girls around the world too: are you ready to receive flowers today? :) Blessings of Love to you all! :)

  12. Karen says:

    That is very sweet : )