There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. –Albert Einstein
Most days I can find plenty of things to get annoyed about: the bird at my front door (see previous post), Atlantans’ chronic failure to use their turn signals, my favorite Vietnamese pho shop closing down…but yesterday was one of those days when everything conspired to force me to see how ridiculously lucky I am, and to make me feel ashamed of the way I overlook being showered with blessings on a daily basis.
It started with a phone call from the Sand Dollar Motel in Ocracoke, North Carolina– one of my favorite places on earth. Lulu and I are making the 12-hour road trip there with our friends Beth & Avery on Saturday and I’d rented a darling little house for us. However, somewhere along the way I’d forgotten it was a Sunday-to-Sunday rental and we’d need a motel room for Saturday night. By the time I did remember (Tuesday), every room on the tiny island was booked. All day (Tuesday) I made frantic calls, but to no avail—then Wednesday morning at 10, the sweet folks from the Sand Dollar called to say they’d had a cancellation and had a room for me & Lulu. Small wonder #1.
An hour later I made a reservation to go to Uganda and visit my beloved Nyaka AIDS Orphans School in October – using my American Airlines miles. And if you’ve ever tried to use AA (diss)Advantage miles, you know that’s a miracle of the first degree.
A few hours later, I was riding my scooter to tennis and because I was early (another miracle), I decided to fill up my one-gallon tank with gas – only to discover that my gas cap was missing. I vaguely remembered filling up a week before at the QT a few miles away, so I optimistically zoomed over to see if anybody had turned in the Taiwanese gas cap I’d stupidly forgotten and would be almost impossible to replace. And sure enough, the girl behind the counter poked around in the drawer and pulled it out. I wanted to plant a big kiss on her, but wisely refrained.
When I got home about 3 pm, I found that the roof topper I’d left behind months ago in Swarthmore, PA had arrived via the US Postal Service – on time and in perfect condition – thanks to my fast-working friend Michael Wagner who in response to my panicked call on Monday had smashed the thing in a box and shipped it out. It got here on Wednesday — and how is that not a miracle? There was no way all our beach chairs, towels, umbrellas, gin and tonics, and coolers packed with food were going to fit in my sporty Rav4 without it!
As a final cherry on top, last night Larry and I went to the production of Antony & Cleopatra at Georgia Shakespeare with our friends Mark & Laura –and as we were leaving, I realized my favorite bracelet from my extravagantly generous friend Clarice had slipped off my wrist sometime during the evening. I crawled under the seats in the theater, trolled through the picnic grounds where we’d eaten, rifled through the recycling, peered under doors in the ladies bathroom (hey, I was desperate) and finally walked in dejection to the car – only to see it lying on the pavement right by the tires, where it easily could have been run over, smashed or stolen … but wasn’t. Oh rapture!
What do all these stories have in common – besides my hideous propensity to misplace, forget, and lose stuff?? Yep, a miraculous confluence of things turning out just fine. Now, it’s not like I think that God is up there deciding to shower me with happy endings, any more than I think that when bad things happen to people it’s their fault (unless you’re the Koch Brothers). But since I tend to take it personally when things go wrong, I think it’s only fair for me to acknowledge, with gratitude and humility, when things go so beautifully right. We’re off to Ocracoke on Saturday – so stay tuned for more Beach Beauty!!!