I had one of those things happen today.
I was running some errands in Takoma Park and felt a need to get home, though I didn’t have anything I had to do at any particular time.
Ninety-nine, maybe 98, percent of the time I head home off Rt 32 a particular and specific way. Today — I dunno — it was hot; I was thinking maybe this other way would be cooler and more shaded; maybe it’d be faster than the currently sluggish-with-traffic main road … yada, yada … Anyway, I got into a turn lane to take this different route home only to realize I was one intersection too soon, and that I was about to turn, instead, into a small retail shopping area.
My attempts to get home more efficiently now thwarted, I said to myself, “No wrong turns; there are no wrong turns” (a perspective I’m working on putting front and center and not beating myself up over mistakes large and small) as I made the turn I wasn’t intending to make. Then I moseyed into the retail area, realizing I could, at least, get gas at this little tucked-away gas station rather than at the big, always-busy Royal Farms near my home: the place where I almost always get my gas.
“Might as well fill up while I’m here” I said to myself, and pulled into the gas station thinking, “Maybe I need to be here. For some reason. Could be.”
There were just a few cars in the lanes to get gas but none open where could pull right up on the “right” side of my car, so I did a big loop-de-loo in the parking lot to line my fuel filler up with a pump, noticing–as I did–the person getting into her car about 10 feet from me was someone I knew and hadn’t seen for a good decade or longer.
I could’ve done the whole avert-your-eyes and pretend-you-don’t-see-em thing, but I didn’t. I stopped, rolled down my window, smiled; she smiled back then rolled her window down, and we talked for some time in the nice cool shade of the trees (none of which RoFo has) with no pressure to move on, as the station was very under-busy, especially for a Friday around 5 pm.
This, that, and whatever else we discussed. She was at a time of change in her life and shared as such. It wasn’t lost on me that we’d known each other through Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism back in the day; the same Buddhist practice Tina Turner–who passed away yesterday–practiced. “Myoho!” as my Buddhist friends would say; “what a synchronicity,” others might say.
Afterward I got my gas, headed home, and was reminded once again: “There are no wrong turns. There’s just life and what we do with it.”