Yesterday I had to run some errands in town. I went in around noon, which meant that parking would be tight, so I took the first parking spot I saw and then went about my business, which included visits to an art supply store and a bookstore and various other stops.
Coming back down the street after my errands had been completed (I had even found a couple of Christmas presents, so I was feeling pretty pleased with myself) I passed the mini-mall that houses the art store and caught a whiff from the pizza place. These folks make fabulous pizza, and it WAS lunch time, so I got distracted and began wondering if I should grab lunch while I was in the area. The bag I carried was heavy, so I thought I'd drop it in the car before heading upstairs, so I went to the car and pressed the unlock button on my key.
Nothing happened, no little click. I tried again, no click. Maybe I had left the car unlocked? I tried the door but it was locked. Maybe the key battery was dead? And then I looked in the car and realized it was a dark green Honda Pilot, but not MY dark green Honda pilot.
That's right, I had the wrong car. I ought to have remembered that I hadn't gotten a place that close to the art shop. So I walked further down the block, passing several other cars... ah, there it is, I thought, still thinking about that delicious pizza, and I pushed the unlock button, reaching impatiently for the door as I did so.
Again, no response. I tried the door, no luck. And then I looked in and there was a bright blue jacket in the front seat. Hmm, I thought, I don't remember leaving that there... and then: Ouch, and double ouch; I'd done it not just once but TWICE! Because this dark green Pilot wasn't mine either. I don't even OWN anything in that shade of blue!
Now thoroughly embarrassed I stopped thinking about pizza and began to hunt for my car in earnest. And when I finally found it, before I pressed the unlock button, I looked inside to be sure it was mine, and, yes, there was the Jerusalem cross a friend gave me years ago, hanging from the rear view mirror.
Having so successfully shifted my focus from pizza to car, I threw the bag in the back seat and climbed in, starting the engine in case anyone might be watching, to show that I wasn't just randomly trying to break into cars but had indeed found my own. I backed out of the space and drove away, and got down to the end of the block before realizing that I had just cheated myself out of that pizza.
Ah, no, I should go home, I can eat there, I thought, but the pizza was still calling me (Sausage! Pepperoni! Cheese!) so I circled the rotary and headed back into town. There were no longer any parking places to be had on the street, so I wandered into the alley, and someone was just pulling out, so I pulled in to the newly vacated spot and went up for my pizza.
When I came back, pizza in hand, the car beside me had left, and there was a red VW bug in its place. And hanging from its rear view mirror (we were parked behind a Mexican restaurant, so this might explain it) was this rosary, sparkling in the sunlight. I fired up my car and started to back out, then thought, okay, I'm just going to photograph this; maybe this is the reason I ended up in this spot; who knows! At any rate, if I photograph it I'll be forced to confess my foolishness in the morning.
So I did, and I have confessed, and here she is, the Virgin of Guadalupe, to brighten your day as she brightened mine. Maybe she's there to say, however foolishly we may behave, the Divine is still with us. Or perhaps she's just here to remind us of the importance of being present in the moment. Because if we allow something to tempt us, however briefly, into tasting the future, it's possible we might miss something really important right here in front of us!