|image from https://okdiario.com|
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong but I held on tightly to my happiness.
The 2 day journey back home was a series of unfortunate events. Good thing I brought the spiritual tools I accumulated during the retreat with me.
Leg 1: Ahmedabad to Delhi
We agreed to meet at the lobby at 4:30am. It was already 4:45am and the brother who's supposed to bring us to the airport was still nowhere in sight. He came at 5:00am and was very apologetic.
"It's ok, Brother. No worries.", I said calmly. He relaxed.
"Sisters from Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand all very sweet.", he said in his broken English once we got in the car.
I wonder what kind of reactions he get from the other students if he's late (particularly the non-Asian countries).
"No sleep, Brother?", I asked
"No good sleep in 6 months", he said.
The university allows foreigners from 110 countries to have a retreat at Mount Abu from October to April.
Almost everyone passes Ahmedabad before going up the mountain and on the way back. This particular brother has been arranging the transportation of over 6,000 people in the last 6 months. Most of us have been coming and going at wee hours in the night or very early in the morning. He must have been tired.
When one looks at things from a bigger perspective, it's easy to accommodate the other person. There's really no reason to make a scene.
We got to the airport on time. From Ahmedabad we flew to Delhi.
In the evening, we will take another plane to Kuala Lumpur. Since we have a whole day in Delhi, I arrange a tour before the next flight.
Sister Nory (my travel companion) and I had to run for the exit though. We were seated at the far back of the plane and ˜90% of the passengers were Indians.
If you've been to India at least once, you know that they are masters in queueing- which means it will take us forever to get off the plane and we might not be able to go to the tour after all.
After intense preparation (I had to orient and cue my 63 year old companion to get up fast) and bionic speed, we made it out of the airport in a jiffy and bested the other Indians. We were so proud of ourselves.
However, no one was there to pick us up. We waited for 15 minutes, and then 30 minutes before I called our contacts. There was a mistake and they were not expecting us. We had to wait another hour to be picked up.
The funny thing here was, I had the intuition that this would happen. So, I wasn't surprised. What I wasn't prepared for was the disorganized driver who kept on watching on his phone while he's driving on a highway! (Usually, the organization gives us good drivers for our trips. They weren't expecting us today though so they must have asked whoever is available at that time.)
Sister Nory told me to let it go. I can't- our lives were in danger. So, just before we collided with another car I told him to stop and cued him to look at the road.
At that particular instance, I had to use the power to face and tell him what he needs to hear.
Leg 3: Flight back to Manila
It's now midnight, we were back at the airport and at our gate for boarding. There was an announcement that our flight will be 30 minutes delayed, then 45 minutes delayed, an hour delayed, and then an hour and 30 minutes delayed.
It would have been ok if we didn't have a connecting flight to Manila. But we did.
To make matters worse, the flight stewards couldn't tell us what will happen to our connecting flight (we only have ˜30 minutes to run to our boarding gate given their delay).
It was a 5 hour journey. No one could give me answers. There was nothing else I could do. So, I told myself, "It is what it is, Karen. You just have to tolerate this for now."
So, I slept.
In the end, we missed our plane to Manila but our airline booked us to the next flight (same day).
All these situations just emphasized why I need to take time to nurture my spirit. It is because it gives me power to face the many uncertainties in life.
meditation by Release Your Wings