It started like most Saturday mornings, my mind meandering down my to-do list, juggling the needs of myself and my family members. I walked out to my car to start the "busy-anything-but-relaxing-weekend-day" only to discover my tire was flat. I had spent the night at a friend’s house and had envisioned a smooth, quiet ride in the early morning of a very busy day.
It wasn't happening.
I knew the culprit was a slow leak caused by a nail pushing its way into my tire.
Drive to the nearest gas station and add air. It would hold at least through my busy day.
Slowly I drove to the closest gas station whose air station was naturally broken.
Four blocks to the next gas station which somehow didn’t have an air station.
Four more blocks and I backed my car into the stall next to the air station. There was a U-haul there, too, and shelves for people merchandising their Valentine’s Day cheap-and-convenient hideous baskets of junk made by the poor of developing countries.
Naturally the place where I was supposed to put quarters was jammed.
I didn’t care, though, I marched into the cashier and told her my circumstance. “I’ll start the air,” she said, pressing the top secret “free” air button under her counter a handful of us know to ask about when nails cause such slow leaks.
I bent to fill my tire with air and laughed.
“What a metaphor! My entire life feels like this slow leak. I just need one of those secret buttons someone can push to start the flow of air moving into my being when I get deflated!”
I thought about the events I would be attending that day: a picnic and a celebration of life - both filled with people who offer me flow simply by showing up and smiling and when I’m really lucky, offering a hug.
An hour later, I saw a new friend named Jazmin. “Hi!” she said and hugged me. She is the same age as my daughter, Katherine, who lives three-thousand miles away and I miss very much. I held Jazmin in a hug and when I felt her start to pull away I said, “May I hug you just a minute longer?”
She laughed and when we released one another, we were closer than when the hug started. My smile was wider and my heart felt warm.
Jazmin added air without even knowing. I gratefully accepted.
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond.
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