The Timing of My Life (Part 1)

I have found that there is a timing to the unfolding of my life. 

Lately I have been stopping at Plum Market on my way to work. They sell reasonably good coffee for $2.00 a cup. The most direct route to my office compels me to turn right out of the Plum parking lot and turn right on to Maple Ave. I need to drive through the intersection of Jackson and Maple in order to get to my office. I stop at a red light. I am the first car at the light. I am always curious and interested in my surroundings.  I like checking out the other people stopped at the light. In a moment, I look up and see my good friend John turning at the intersection.  We both notice each. We both have a smile of recognition and appreciation. And drive on. That one moment made my day. You can’t plan for that to happen.

My girlfriend and I just completed a bike ride. A long ride on a hot day. About 40 miles. It ended at my truck. Parked at a lot across the street near Eastern Market. I’m tired, dirty and hot. I want to go home and relax. We’re about to load the bikes into the truck and my girlfriend yells out, ‘there’s Ronnie”. She takes off after him on her bike. I’m pissed. My yells of protesting did no good. So, like any dutiful boyfriend I take after her. A few blocks later I catch up and find her sitting at a restaurant with Ronnie, his cousin and his cousin’s wife. They live in Tucson. He is a serious rider. Because of that chance meeting we end up visiting Tucson twice for 2, two-week vacations. We fall in love with the city. A year later we ended up buying a vacation home there. We could have gone on a dozen different rides that day and started at a million different times. But it was that ride at that time that led us to Tucson.

A much simpler and more natural example of the intersection of timing and my life often happens in relationship to nature revealing itself to me. I was taking a walk along a canal in Newtown PA and needed to cross over to the other side. There is a small bridge I pass. I took a moment and paused to looked down into the slowly moving water. At that moment a mother duck and her five ducklings swam past. One following the other in perfect synchronized movement.

I live in Michigan. In a small town about 15 miles west of Ann Arbor. There about 30 lakes where I liver. The Huron River also winds through the west side of where I live.  Needless to say, the water brings an abundance of wildlife. While moving through my day, whether driving or walking a bird of prey will introduce itself to me.  A close fly by. They feel deliberate. These moments happen often, sometimes daily. These short encounters feel like a validation of where I am in my life at that moment.

For me, the experiences I shared have an element of timing. A minute or two sooner or later, I would have not experienced them. It’s kind of like, does a tree failing in the woods make a sound. You need to be there to hear it. I was an integral part of those moments. Synchronicity or coincidence? I can’t say for certain. But is sure feels like they were all set up of me.

I can look back on all those experiences and can begin to appreciate the overall timing of the unfolding of my life. The people I met you had a significant influence on the outcome of my life. The sequences of the jobs I had. From the position of an outside observer, it might seem there was a randomness to the decisions I made about my life.

I had a spiritual awakening the sophomore year of high school. I became interested in mediation. I had taken my first doses of Mescaline. That literally blew the doors open of my life.  I read a book written by Ram Dass aka Richard Albert call Be Here Now. I had an epiphany. I had a deep-rooted sense that there was something else to the world I lived in. Something not explained by the 5 senses. Something that held reality together. I would call it the Mystery That Lives All Things. It’s not like I woke up one day and said, “you need to explore the mystery of life”. It was just kind of thrust on me. My version of Newton’s apple. All our lives take a very circuitous route to get us to where we end up. Looking back, I can now see that many of my life’s experiences, both very challenging and very opening had a timing to them.  The college I went to. The roommates I had. My first marriage. My divorce. The death of my second wife. Adopting my daughter. Living in the Ashram. My 2 spiritual teachers. It is a very long list.

This blog posting is a bit long winded. I feel the need to stop here and share the rest of my thoughts about timing and one’s life in the next post.

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