Look Down

 

Usually, I’m an eye-to-the-sky kind of girl. There are cloud shapes to recognize, blue sky to marvel at, birds flying by. There’s a lot going on up there. Plus, when you tend to be optimistic, things are always looking up, eh?

Last week I discovered, though, the joy of looking down.

On the hottest day of the year, with my gas tank gauge needle dangling perilously above the “E,” I decided I needed a little fuel. I wasn’t looking forward to getting out of the cool of the air-conditioned car, but hey, that’s why I  wear the big girl pants. Adults do what they gotta do (whining optional).

As I walked around to the passenger’s side where the gas tank is, with my head slightly tilted toward the ground, I saw something shiny. (This is not an ADD alert — I really saw something shiny.) Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a quarter — a whole 25 cents! — just waiting for me to pick it up and pocket it. “Thanks, Mr. Person Who Dropped a Quarter,” I said out loud to no one in particular.

After fueling up a wee bit, I decided to go to the library to pick up the books I had on hold. Four. To add to the stack in my office already — both library and bargain bought. As I left the parking lot and ambled on the pavement leading to the Door of Knowledge (I love the library, in case you didn’t know), I saw chalk on the ground. There were hearts and books, numbers, random letters. Then, a most beautiful sight: “I ❤ books!!” Me, too, kid. If only I had some chalk to add a contribution to your awesome thought.

I sometimes forget to look around and down, rather than looking up, as I’m wont to do. Turns out, if you do, you might find and/or see some amazing things. Give it a try. I’ll bet you a quarter you see something cool.

Zen and the art of milk spilling

I try to be organized, but apparently the universe decided I should be even more so. While quickly trying to get to my “delete all cookies” function on the Google Chrome, I mistakenly clicked on whatever doohickey they added recently so you can sync your browsers on various devices. Person One, it said. I clicked the X to make that box disappear, then clicked OK when it warned me it would delete everything ever associated with that account for all eternity. As it listed the account as Person 1 and not my name, I thought I was safe. I clicked OK.

Minutes later, I went to find a link I had bookmarked in my tidy, year- and category-organized bookmark folder. Everything was gone. Seven years of bookmarks. Gone.

Yes, I had backed up the bookmarks, but on my desktop. Thought I had saved them to a flash drive, so I deleted the desktop link.

They’re really really gone.

Did I panic? Did I cry? Did I rant and rave?

Nope. Nope. And nope.

My response? “Oh, well.”

I’ll tell ya, I’ve been reading metaphysical books and meditating and doing other funky Zen-like things for years. It really pays off at times like these. Seven years of bookmarks and I don’t even let out a little whimper or cry?

Om, indeed.

This isn’t the first time this has happened (the bookmarks deleted, yes; my calm response, no).

In January 2012, a deer jumped out of the dark, over a median and onto the hood and front fender of my Rogue. I saw a flash of brown fur and an eye ball sharing, I’m sure, the same look of terror I had at that very moment. Unfortunately, Mr. Deer didn’t make it. Turns out, neither did the front end of my car.

It’s a good thing I drive a tank, though. The Rogue takes impact quite well. When I pulled over into the closest parking lot — well lit, not 50 feet from our collision site — I saw the damage: the grill was gone as was most of the area around it; the left part of the fender was torn open, probably by his sharp hooves; and little pieces of fur were stuck in the crevices he created, with blood splatter nearby and some on the windshield.

Surveying that scene, I realized — he could have come through the windshield. I thanked my lucky stars that, even though it was bad, it could have been worse.

I looked back and couldn’t see the deer, which must have been propelled off the road by the force. I apologized to the air for killing him. Soon after, I drove home slowly, listening to a Styrofoam part of my fender (really? Styrofoam?) drag on the ground the whole way.

When I got home, I called my favorite Gecko.

“A deer hit my car,” I said.
“You didn’t hit a deer?” the insurance voice asked.
“Nope. I was driving and he jumped out of the dark into and onto my car,” I said.
“These unfortunate things happen, ma’am. Let me look up your account,” he said. “Oh, my. I see you just purchased this vehicle only two months ago? I’m so, sooooooo sorry.”
“Yeah. Thanks. It’s just a car. It could have been much worse.”
“I have to tell you, you’re the least upset person I’ve ever talked to when something like this has happened,” he said. “I like your attitude.”

Me, too, Mr. Gecko’s Helper. Me, too.

Some wise person said long ago there’s no use crying over spilled milk. It seems that if I’m going to cry over such a thing, it’s going to have to be because I spilled a REALLY big glass.

Vital Signs

Still NaBloPoMoing, but today, sans prompt.

I felt like going around the block again. Upon my return at the light I had been at a few moments before, a voice in my head said, “There’s an accident.” It’s a quiet voice, more like a thought that floats in and out like a breeze softly jostling curtains on a bright, sunny day. It was there, then it was gone.

Driving along the turnpike, I see flashing lights behind me. A quick speedometer check reveals I’m within the zone of propriety (that along with the three cars ahead of me that I can’t catch say it’s not me), so I just move to the side and red-blue flashes zooms by.

As I approach the next exit, the red lights and siren of an ambulance enter just ahead of me.

About a mile later, the a rainbow of flashing lights reflect in the metal pieces of the median and off the cars that are involved: four to the right side (on the shoulder now) and one facing the median with its rear driver’s side smushed, its bumper laying nearby. A woman crouches near the open driver’s side door as the ambulance attendant rushes to her side. Traffic slips by slowly with thoughts of kindness for those involved and thankfulness that we weren’t.

I don’t know where that little voice comes from, but I learned to listen to it a long time ago. Go around the block, it said.

So I did.