Artwork by Alex Grey
Last year I visited my home town of San Diego, California in the beach area of Ocean Beach/Point Loma where I was born, raised and brought three sons into the world – with the purpose of spending time with family still living there.
It was like living my life backwards with so many memories arising as I walked my old haunts and the hard packed sand at the waters edge. On one of these walks I reflected on my entry experience at the airport a day before.
Since it had been decades since I flew into San Diego I found the airport not only larger, but more complex in an organized way. One of the improvements being that car rentals were now in one building in back of the airport. To reach this building one needed to ride the 11-minute shuttle to get there.
As the door opened for the shuttle bus I was to ride, a beautiful African American woman stepped down from the front of the bus onto the sidewalk with a huge smile on her face and greeted us all with an immense inviting and loving energy, calling us precious as she took our luggage and lifted it into the designated spots within the bus.
As another woman sat down next to me she turned and with a smile on her face said to me, “I’ve never been called precious before!” In just that one gentle way our bus driver had opened up and connected this woman to herself and to me.
It did not stop there! Once the bus was loaded and the driver had greeted everyone and stowed their luggage we were under way to the car rental building. As you know, travel can be stressful and sometimes the purpose of an individual’s travel can run the gamut from vacation to attending to immense challenges they may be faced with.
The driver greeted us on the PA system, asked how all of us were doing – waiting for our responses, and then proceeded to tell us a little about San Diego and what we were passing by on our short journey.
In the silence that followed this everyone on the bus all of a sudden started hearing oldies songs, like Moon River, that were whistled over the speaker system…..by our entertaining bus drive. And she was good!
Following that she invited us to sing children’s songs that she probably sang with her grandchildren, and which most everyone on the bus had sung as a child. We went the gamut from “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round & Round” to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and finally to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (with animal suggestions from her captive audience) .
Next on the agenda she challenged anyone who wanted to participate to say tongue twisters with her….and one man from New Zealand standing on the bus with a very large box took it on and succeeded with the most lovely accent!
At this point we were just about to our destination. As I looked around all of the passengers were smiling and connecting with each other. The entire energy on the bus had changed. We were connected and enjoying the few moments it took us to get to our destination, the stress of travel forgotten.
As everyone stepped down from the bus our driver handed us our luggage from where it was stowed with a huge smile. I thanked her for such an entertaining and community connected trip with a shared connected smile.
This woman had engaged us in the short moments we were all together and created something extraordinary from a job and 11 minutes together that could have been quite ordinary simply getting us to where we needed to be.
Enough was indeed a feast!
When we as elders question whether we are good enough, or simply enough and question our value – we are caught in the entanglement of either cultures expectations, or our very own patterns and perfectionism.
What would it be like to simply let go of those expectations, a diagnosis, labels or identities – and discover who we are as extraordinary, empowered and creative beings in our fullest expressions in any given ordinary moment?
Perhaps we shall find that in honoring our “being enough” – our innate value – it takes us from the ordinary to the extraordinary.