There was a car on fire last week. A red Hyandai Sante Fe. The entire front engine was engulfed in flames. It was stopped on the highway In the lane I typically travel on my morning commute. The traffic was at a standstill. Slowly the lanes began to merge over. I passed the fiery carnage. The flames were so hot, I could feel them Licking and heating up my driver side window. I couldn’t look to see if there was a person trapped. It was peculiar and strange. As the cars started trickling back onto the empty highway, I felt a sense of belonging with the other cars and trucks. We all just witnessed that. Now we’re trying to get back to our commutes, Back to reality, But we all shared an experience. Though we may never meet and talk about it. As individuals in our culture and society, we feel immune to the real world. Our cars give us a sense of self-importance. This experience made me realize that even sharing the road Denotes a connection. We may keep distracted with work, devices, and busyness Claiming busy as a badge of honor. We’re all busy. But how do you live? What lights you up when the workload fades into the background For just a moment? No longer surrounded by grasping or striving, What else is there to discover? Do you have a buried treasure of your own Just waiting for you to be still enough To observe its shine and discover its potential?
“What’s the good word?” Anthony, my coworker, asked. I paused a beat. Took a breath and thought: what is good right now; right at this moment?
“The sun is out today,“ I said casually. It had been a rainy stretch of days.
“There you go! I knew you had something good to say instead of the grumpy replies I usually get: same shit different day.“
We then talked about framing our perceptions and choosing. Do we choose to see the positive or the negative?
When we’re caught up in the negative chatter, it can feel hopeless. Like we don’t really have a choice. Life is just happening to us and all around us. And we’re just helplessly bouncing around at whatever life throws at us.
It can be hard to change that framework when you’re in the depths of a hurried life, feeling unfulfilled, and sensing lack at every facet of life. Hearing and seeing it as true and never asking if this is all there really is? Is there really not enough?
Scarcity abounds when the media is filled with images depicting lack.
“The world is on fire,“ Jeff said to me in the evening right before bed.
Is it really?
This year the Colorado River and Hoover Dam is dangerously low. Lack of water. Drought. Too many people tapping into a limited resource. Last year California was literally on fire with the great evergreens near Yosemite ignited and raging.
How do we put out the fire? Why is it either raging or empty? Where is the middle? The balance? It must be here somewhere.
In the end, it all comes back to perception. How will I perceive today?
Today I choose to see abundance as my creative words flow. I appreciate my breath, my A/C during this heat wave, my loves enjoying their summer. There’s enough to go to summer camp and take our vacation.
If we look for the good: What can I appreciate now? What is lovely and beautiful? What is the meaning and lesson without being bogged down with the nitty-gritty cycle of scarcity and lack?
I can see potential. Problem-solving becomes easier. And I don’t feel so alone in my suffering or joy.