I have a confession. I recently visited McDonald's...(I know guilt, shame, embarrassment) But, before you judge, let me tell you why...
It all began with a camping trip to Big Sur.
A 4 hour drive up highway 1 in the Mini Cooper.
If I may use an overused word, Epic.
An amazing site at Kirk Creek. Beautiful weather.
Not enough provisions and a questionable fire source.
The Hungry bellies of Rookie Campers.
Our poor planning had sent my camping companion to take the mini north to the Big Sur market (30 miles north to be specific).
1 hour passes... I do some writing....2 hours pass, I almost finish the bottle of wine....start to worry what the hold up is... take the above picture at sunset. 3 hours pass...
My companion shows up on foot. No provisions. No mini. Just our water and my backpack.
And me? I am a flood of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It starts with..."Why are you here on foot?" "What took so long" and "Where the hell is my car??" A whole stream of monkey-mind thoughts happen in a few minutes.
The answer to all of these questions: Flat tire.
And, you know what? All the other questions, blaming and worrying didn't need answers.
The bottom line was that he was there and my car was 20 miles north of us. With No cell service and an off duty camp host. Clearly the mini was going to have its own camping experience without us that night.
Can I tell you something? I wanted to control that situation so badly! I wanted an immediate solution. I wanted my mini!!
I put my best "figure this solution out" hat on and I took off like a torpedo with its assigned coordinates. Determined and unrelenting.
At the cost of everything else.
My companions feelings, my enjoyment of the evening, my vacation experience, all of it. Gone. For about 20 minutes. Then it got dark and there clearly would be no reunion that night.
We had fire. We had food. We had tent.
We still had a little wine.
I exhaled and enjoyed the rest of the sunset, my friend, and the food.
My sleep was questionable, at about 3 am I woke to a family of raccoons looking for a late night snack. I politely shooed them off.
I looked up at the nearly full moon and was struck with clarity.
I found myself raising the white flag, "Alright Universe. This situation is clearly beyond my control and there is a plan I do not see. But, I am willing. I don't know how its all going to work out but I'm willing. I want to stop trying to figure it all out."
I woke up a few hours later. I Brewed some coffee. Cooked some eggs. Watched the sunrise and was grateful. My companion made friends with our neighbors. They had a ride.
I reached the Mini with the kindness of strangers.
Figured out the spare tire situation. (Things are so much clearer in the light of day)
Headed into Big Sur for some cell service and running water.
Stopped at the station and made some phone calls. Planned to head further North to Monterrey to a garage with a new tire for the mini.
A Gyspy woman with a dog and a sign requesting a lift to San Fran stopped me in my tracks.
(I have never picked up a hitchhiker in my life.)
I asked her where she was headed.
"As far as you can take me." she said hopefully.
"Can your dog fit in the back?"
I drive a mini. I already had a Flat Tire and camping gear as passengers. She had a backpack, guitar and dog.
I am assuming these were most of her worldly possessions. (If not all of them.)
Suddenly, I was filled with love for her and her dog Queenie. Everything else I was worried about became insignificant.
We shared views of the most amazing coastline I have ever seen. We talked. She told her story. I shared a bit of mine. I was grateful. As was she. It was her 3rd day stuck in Big Sur looking for a ride. She was moving forward with little resources. I was moving forward with an inconvenient flat tire in an overpriced car.
She is brave.
She is strong.
She is often misunderstood.
I am humbled by the truth.
Finally arriving in Monterrey, I offered to buy lunch. " Your choice," I said.
"McDonald's?" she proposed, hopeful.
"Sure," I say as an image of pink slime went through my mind.
We went. She ordered. We sat.
She admitted that it probably wasn't healthy, but it gave her a warm fullness that nourished her when she felt really hungry. Besides that, Queenie loved cheeseburgers.
How can a health coach argue with that?
She told me how she was praying for a miracle that day. She was out of money, food, and the kindness of the store owner in Big Sur. She was desperate to get to loved ones in SF. She said I was her answer, her miracle.
Part of me wished I could believe that more often.
The other part of me knew she was my miracle just as much as I was hers.
We shared some fries.
I excused myself to deal with my car. We hugged and said our goodbyes.
I am constantly reminded of abundance everywhere.
I want to remember my many blessings with gratitude.
I still don't eat at McDonald's.
But I am grateful that Harriot and Queenie do.
Who have you been a miracle for lately?
With all of my love.