It occurred to Jack one afternoon while he was cruising about in the family sedan. It’s the V6 model and when pressed, shifts down a few gears and moves along. Sometimes it is useful to accelerate strongly. Usually the time comes when a merge occurs, often during ‘stop and go hour’ on the freeway. Suddenly, a tractor trailer is coming down the ramp and there is no room for it in the slow lane (slow meaning under 75) and down it comes towards you and your road companions. Gator used to drive a Yellow cab and he knows what to do. Flash brakes and make a hole for the big rig. It makes it and often gives a little blink of the tail-lights to give a luminous thanks. Courtesy that costs nothing and is a flash of civilization that even surprises Gator. “Why would I do that?” It was inconvenient for me and it added at least a minute or more onto my ETA at the chiropractor!
Back to the Yellow cab: There seemed to be two types of people that Gator ferried about. People that cared about Gator and people that didn’t. Why would someone be interested in a 20 something cab driver? Why would the driver be interested in his fare? Maybe to generate camaraderie and get good scale? (cab lingo for tips). Perhaps a desire to get a new insight into life? Perhaps because Gator was a ‘good person’ that liked to put people at ease? Who can tell, It’s known that it’s a bad thing to judge people and there are some Gator can tell that do that! Putting aside that joke there is awareness.
It is pretty easy for us to discern if someone, perhaps a very new someone is on board and they are easy to be with because they ask you questions and then listen to your answers. (Usually we can’t wait to talk about our favorite subject, ourselves.) Sometimes though, there is a patience in another that is refreshing and calming to our jangled nerve endings. Too often our lives are filled with sparks of disconnect, as though we are on the subway platform seeing the power from the third rail come and go.
The endless chatter from the crowd, the drone of “how are you?’ “I’m good” It leaves Jack again famished for reality. How pleasant it is to even have someone say anything that shows the spark, this time of real interest. As though you both were sitting on Mars hill in Athens centuries ago, hungry for new ideas and connection with another persons life. The hunger for connections with another.
Calming our own chatter and constant glances in any mirror to see if our face shows the isolation and fear within. It takes a new heart, a resurrection of our internal gyroscope to stand steady and willing to look, see and listen to that fast moving thought train. It’s crossing our path for a reason, always a reason to be there and we can wait for it to go by or really look and listen. When we can see and be seen, that’s when things happen. The world stands still and two lives are then never the same. We can actually remember a name and a story. Brief and timeless as it was always meant to be. Always if we desire it.
Walking in the garden, taking in the beauty of the flowers nearby and hearing another book unfolding as the petals do in the dawn. Maybe even a field of sunflowers all facing you and drinking in what we all need. Light and warmth from outside of ourselves. The giver and the listener, dancing together with the incredible and irresistible but gentle power of the Son. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator