Each workday, I travel 20+ miles down winding mountain roads through breathtaking woodlands, meadows, and river country. There’s always an unexpected surprise or two, like the Ring-necked pheasant I spotted last week (no doubt an escapee from a commercial hunting operation). A hawk soaring across a cornfield. Bright yellow shock of daffodils tucked behind an ancient barn. Canada geese and turkey hens in the horse field. Deer and other wildlife.
My intention is to substitute thinking for pure awareness as I motor into town. A driving meditation. When I do get lost in thought, worried about this or that, once I reach this sign posted on a shack where the kayakers and river runners don their gear, I am reminded to snap back to attention.
There were several things to worry about last week, and when it rains, man does it pour. A friend lost two close family members within days. Another had both elderly parents in the hospital while battling her own stomach virus and car trouble. My old Honda was steering funny, a few days after replacing a tie rod end. It was realigned and the balding front tires rotated (aren’t tires supposed to last more than 25,000 miles?) but it was wobbling again.
That was on top of the furnace blower going out, and the 7th man in a row asking me to date him while he was still hopeful of reuniting with an ex. Seriously? At least the last few guys have been upfront about their motives as I have become clearer about my own, but it seems to me the integrity of modern relationships wears out faster than cheap tires.
I pulled off the road to measure the tire pressure – yep, one was down 5#. The next morning I checked it again – down another 5#, I think. The tire gauge broke in two as I was getting the reading (sigh). I called AAA and Ernie, the tow truck driver, was there within the hour. Of course, my spare was flat, so he filled the first tire and kindly followed me to the nearest garage.
Somewhere on the way, I remembered to “Change Here” and arrived at the garage in good spirits. When I asked the fellow sweeping the floor if they could check my tire, he made a big check mark in the air and said “Check!” Groaning, I replied that it was too early for bad jokes, and we became instant pals. Then I asked permission to take photographs of this beauty, a 1930 Model A Cabriolet awaiting a wiring harness.
Notice the simplicity of this dashboard – an ignition switch and two gauges. No music player, DVD player, USB port, or even cup holder. Simple and elegant inside and out. Groundbreaking in its day, yet a timeless beauty. Defining what it means to be Overtly Simple…
Well, there was a nail embedded in the tire, but my car is still steering funny. Could be the CV joint and worn out boot my mechanic warned me need replacing, that are not in the budget. Rather than worry about it, I am just grateful to the men in my life who have helped me along the way like Bo, Michael and Russell and others did yesterday. I got a great quote on tires guaranteed to go 60,000 miles. I am thankful to the men in my life who are not perfect, merely human like my Dad, my son, and yes – all those exes.
Think: Do you make time to meditate? It doesn’t have to mean sitting down with legs crossed. Conscious eating, walking, or driving, are wonderful ways to stay in the present moment.
Say: Promise yourself that you will focus on the road in front of you, rather than what’s in the rearview mirror.
Do: Make your own “Change Here” sign or symbol that will remind you to pay attention to life as it unfolds. Post it where you’ll see it often, like your bathroom mirror, bulletin board or car visor.
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