there we are, clara driving since ten in the morning. we stop at a starbucks at noon. she has tea and banana. i have mocha. a nice pause. then it's another hour on the road when it suddenly comes to me i don't see my little backpack at my feet. clara immediately pulls over. i search and search. i ask myself, where do you last see it, suk wah. when i pay at starbucks. then what do you do? i go to the bathroom. o, i must have, i most probably have left it in the bathroom. i hear clara whisper to herself, then it's lost. nevertheless she opens her cell, starts calling for the starbucks in that area. there are two. i call the first one on the list. a guy answers. i explain. he goes to check, comes back and say, no, it isn't here and nobody has turned anything in. my stomach twists. a rock plunges into my solar plexus. clara calmly says, call the second one. as she says that i am just filled with gratitude for having such a friend. you see, clara has been up since before dawn packing up the rental house in tahoe and she has to pick up her dog after dropping me off. anyhoo, back to calling starbucks. this time, when i get to the work 'backpack' the female voice on the other end says, 'yes, we have it here.' i say, thank you, let me call you back.
among the jumble mumble of thoughts that rush through the mind this one jumps out. if i can get into the house i don't need it back today. so i call hwubby who is in seattle for his chinese bone treatments. he says, yes, there are two spare keys and here're where they are. i end the call. i am about to call starbucks again when clara stops me and says, how are you going to get it back? i say, they can pack it up and mail it back to me. clara says, you really think they're going to do that? i say, look, they can say no and i'll figure out something else, maybe i'll give them some money. clara says, in a tone that doesn't take no for an answser, we'll go back. i say, okay, if you'll let me pay a night of dog hotel and the gas money. she says, dog hotel, yes, gas, no. i know clara after five years of studying scriptures together. the deal is done.
we are both quiet all the way to the store. the staff there couldn't be nicer. a girl goes to the back office and retrieves my backpack. everything's there. i thank them. i ask, where did you find it? she points to the table across from the cashier. now i remember. i leave my mocha there before i go into the bathroom. why would i leave the backpack there? i have no idea.
as clara and i sip drinks outside the store, she says, when you were on the phone part of my mind says, o i'm so tired, i can't drive another two hours. she reaches out her hand, gently puts it over mine and says, another voice says, suk wah would have done it for you, i know that's the voice of my higher self, i can do it, let's see ourselves leaving tahoe and arrive here right now. i finish the sentence and say, yes, do over. right then and there she nibs the tendency in me to get stuck in the past.
here's the great thing about walking the path with a committed seeker. every moment is an opportunity to do over, start over, a fresh beginning, a new life.
i am so fortunate to have such a dear friend in clara. indeed. the self is the same in all.