The Angel On The Bus
[Christopher Spiewak] July 9th 2010
No matter how great our lives may be there are still those days or moments that are simply far from the greatest. One of those days/moments for me was today. It was the culmination of a lot of life that found me in a state that was truly surreal. But at the very crux of it I found my heart, soul & mind asking… “what is amazing about this?” It was a question that truly made me smile. In part because I responded with a many amazing things and in part because I was grateful my internal default response to something so unwelcome was something so uplifting.
It reminded me of a contrasting response a decade earlier when a much lesser “bad day” was transformed, not through my own response but through the external inspiration of another. It was an early February morning in 1998 on this deeply gloomy Boston day with the bleakest overcast above and the darkest grime of frozen urban snow below. Everywhere you looked was cheerless glum. Even the people were shadowed in a sea of winter grey topcoats. In my own head I was begrudging the overwhelming dread of it all magnified greatly by commuting to a job I had grown to disdain.
So gloomy that I decided not to walk through it and instead hopped on a bus to get there “faster.” The disgruntled driver hurried me in and once inside I realized the entire bus was packed with ghastly faces that looked even grimmer. It appeared everyone was dreading life and increasingly so as the bus caught every red light. Hold up after hold up, delay, delay, inconvenience, the bus was teaming with discontent. Then it stopped completely and the driver stepped out as the rear door opened and the handicap lift lowered….
with tremendous effort she moves the controls
it appears, no it is, that she has only one hand available
and so clearly not a leg
struggling to reach the map in her pocket
smiling, beaming, radiant, ear to ear
In the moment it was astonishing to me that she, with so much misfortune to struggle with, was happier than everyone on the bus combined! It truly lit me up so I couldn’t help but ask her “what are you so happy about today?” She said it was her 1st day going to school entirely on her own. She was utterly gushing about the process from door to door. She was excited about her classes, she was beaming about her coat, she was giddy about a boy, she was even psyched about the sandwich in her backpack! She was so fully truly entirely and completely psyched about her entire life that even the mud on the windows seemed brighter.
It was an unbelievable gift to suddenly see not the gloom in the day but the awe in the moment. She was abundant in LIFE. She was enraptured by LIFE. She was radiating LIFE. She was LIFE! It wasn’t a moment of…. “wow I have it so good compared to her” it was a moment of “wow she has it so good (compared to me)!” I felt blessed, I felt thankful, I felt lucky, I felt alive, I felt transformed by The Angel On The Bus. – x