Thursday, October 15, 2015

Be Ever Grateful

This morning I "pulled" the 8 of Bolers/Pentacles from my Buckland Romani Tarot app as my daily draw. I thought, "Ah, makes sense, I'll be slowly making my way through work today...." Mmhm. I got ready to go, my husband and I dropped our younger daughter at school, and we set off toward my workplace. As we were within a few blocks of our destination, the car suddenly shut down and refused to restart. It wasn't the battery; I knew it was something worse, I just didn't know what. We were at a dead halt in the middle of a very busy, very fast road, but fortunately a couple of friendly passersby helped Jorge to push the car into a nearby parking lot. I mused to him: "You know, you'd have thought I would have pulled the Tower or something, not the 8 of Pentacles. Seriously." We called for a tow, and while my husband sat waiting to be taken to a mechanic, I walked the rest of the way to work to meet my class.
Buckland Romani Tarot
Later my husband called me and said, "Not good news. The engine is useless, and they say that it doesn't make sense to repair it - we need a new car." Oh shit! This was the second part: "Since I have no way to get you, see if you can find a ride home." Yes. Over a year ago I was run into by a texting-while-driving sort, and our other car was totaled. We took that as a sign that it was the right time to downsize, to save money, to lower our carbon footprint. So we were a one-car family. And now we were suddenly, and without warning, a no-car family in a city with terrible public transportation, where having a car has become essential.

On my way back to my office after class I took a detour and saw that my director's office door was slightly open. I didn't know what I was going to say, but I decided to say hello. I had written an email to my colleagues asking for a ride home, and she'd just seen it. She said hi, and asked about my situation. I told her that it would probably impact my next day's teaching schedule, and asked for ideas about how to manage it. Suddenly she said, "You know what? Just take my car!" I called her "crazy" several times, and also thanked her a few times, and soon I was on my way home, in her little blue Nissan. On the way I stopped at the mechanic to pick up my husband. As he was paying for the inspection, I sat patiently in the waiting room. Suddenly I got the joke:
My view from the car repair shop waiting room
I was in a car repair shop. Just like the one on the 8 of Bolers card. You know, within reason, taking into account the cultural context and decade. I laughed. And then I took a picture. You have to appreciate the way the universe works, no matter how dire the circumstances, really.

So we were a bit stuck. We had a repair quote exceeding $7000, no car, a kid in school who would eventually require a ride home, and I had to teach again the next couple of days. I couldn't keep my boss's car forever. This was a true WTF moment, though a true gem was the moment when my husband actually handed me the estimate, and as I reached the final price I just started to laugh, and he laughed right along with me. Because what else is there to do? If someone hands you a repair quote that high for your only vehicle, that is just about all there is to be done about it.

As we drove home I said to Jorge, "You know, this really does suck a lot, but there are so many ways in which we are fortunate today. Gabriel wasn't in the car with us when it shut down in that busy zone. Those men helped to move the car to a safe place. We were only a few blocks from work, so I wasn't too late for class. My director handed me her keys, and now we can pick Lourdes up from school. The tow was covered by our insurance." The list later expanded to include the fact that our insurance company secured us a rental car on the same afternoon, allowing us to return the borrowed car. We went to a dealership (which normally I passionately hate - sales, in general. Not a fan) and the fellow that helped us was nice, very relaxed, very open and non-pushy. He even broke into song at one point. Instead of wanting to run away as fast as I could, I found myself wanting his business card! (This is a true rarity).

When our foray was over for the evening (we still have no car of our own, and have more insurance stuff to deal with tomorrow) we went home, finally. As we entered the house, a glorious aroma of garlic and spices wafted toward us. Our oldest daughter had prepared dinner: a trout chowder that she had found the recipe for online. It was really good.

I checked the mail. There was the Earthbound Oracle that I wasn't expecting until tomorrow, beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, with an art card, a sticker, and yes/no flipping coin on top:
Earthbound Oracle still boxed and wrapped
The point is: be ever grateful. Life throws some major twists and turns into our paths, and many of them are unexpected and unforeseen. We can't always change what happens to us, but we can always choose how we see the circumstances in which we find ourselves. In even the very difficult moments, there is light.


  1. Oh my word, what a day, Olivia! How wonderful that you were able to step outside it a bit and allow the witness to see things from a wider perspective. Your daughter's making of dinner is so thoughtful and sweet. What a lovely thing to come home to. The EO is on my wishlist. I'll be interested to hear how you get on with it. Blessings on the wheels in and of your life.

    1. Thanks for your blessings! :) You know, everything has been working out quite well, and very interestingly...and I've been very grateful for and humbled by the beauty in what has been going on with this car situation. Yes, the EO is really lovely! I like that it doesn't have a LWB, so you can free-associate, rely primarily on intuitive insights, and that is very nice. :)

  2. Gosh, what a day! I hope things are calmly settled and sorted now, and that you can explore gratitude (and your Earthbound Oracle) from a less fraught position :D

    1. It was indeed quite the weekend! And we have a nice, new car which means I have been able to experiment a bit with my new oracle (it's lovely!). I will post a blog about that soon :-)