Outrageous Happiness #10: Traffic Magic

October 1, 2014 § 3 Comments

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Sitting out in the sunshine this past weekend, with a book, a cup of tea, taking in the joy of late-September’s gloriousness, looking up at the first real sparks of color in the changing leaves against a clear cobalt sky, I think to myself: I sure am glad I’m not sitting in traffic right now. Why traffic would pop into my mind at a moment like this, I cannot say. Of course, yes, I also think how beautiful it all is. I’m glad I’m here. Not in traffic. And I’m reminded of the time…

My daughter and I were driving back from a wedding. Cruising the 8 hour stretch from Ohio across the Pennsylvania heartland. We may have been singing “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” to pass the time.

We were super tired. Anxious to be off the road, home and near our pillows, when an hour and a half before “home” we come to a grinding halt. Cars lined up for miles. You know the drill. No where to go, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, you’re just there. I begin to fume. Steam shoots from my ears. Shrill words come from my mouth. Hand bangs against the steering wheel.  My daughter chimes in. We sit. And we sit. The car doesn’t move more than a foot at a time. We’re miserable humans stuck at the tail-end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike with a bunch of other miserable humans. 

It was then that a touch of insanity arrived. I snapped. “You know what, sweetie? This is great. No, I mean this is SO great. This is so great I can hardly believe it! This is exactly where we’re supposed to be, and sitting here, trapped on this highway, is absolutely WONDERFUL! This is FANTASTIC!”

Utterance from the back seat: “Mom, are you okay?”

“YESSSS!”, I shout with delight. “I’m GREAT!”

“Mom?”

“No, really. This is perfect. Don’t you see? This is the best place we could possibly be right now. Sitting here. In our car. Miles from home in a super-sized traffic jam. It’s perfect! I’m so happy we’re here. Aren’t you? I mean, who knows why, but this is where we’re meant to be, so why not embrace that? It’s crazy but it’s true! I’m loving it. Loving the traffic. Loving the road! Loving the other cars with all the other miserable humans inside feeling their miserable thoughts! If only they knew. This is so awesome, hun!”

“O-kaaaay…?”

“Really. It’s more than okay. And pretty soon, the traffic is gonna move and we’re gonna move and then we’ll be on our way and before you know it, we’ll be home near our pillows. We’re gonna travel safely and smoothly. Everyone here’s gonna travel smoothly and safely! The traffic’s gonna move, just you watch. It’ll move exactly at the right time. I can feel it. I just know it. It’s all so right. This is GREAT!!! Smoothly and safely. It’s all gonna move. It’s all good. It’s just as it’s mean to be. And pretty soon….”

And don’t you know, the traffic started to move. Smoothly and safely.

Coincidence, sure …. but it had me convinced that magic had indeed transpired. Nor would it be the first nor the last time that “traffic magic” cast a good spell.

Ah well. Wizardry or not, it was still pretty fine to be enjoying the cloudless sky and shimmering color and warmth of the sun on my skin, instead of aimlessly burning fossil fuel on a highway somewhere.  And all these little joys shone through… The last ripe pepper on the vine, the fully-pumped tires on my bike, butterflies dining on zinnia’s. A cup of tea, a good book. And right then, that was exactly where I was meant to be.

Isn’t it the truth; sometimes the simplest things are the most outrageously uplifting.

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How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

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