The universe works in mysterious ways and we may never understand it. Just last week, I had a wonderful reminder of this very thing.
I own two cars. I don’t like owning two cars but I need two cars. I need a car to drive in Ontario, and life is easier for my son when he has a car to drive in Florida. He’s a full-time student at a college in Miami. Since Miami is very spread out, using public transit can be problematic so he commutes to school with my 2nd very old car.
When my son and his girlfriend came home last summer, they drove the old car. I took it in for maintenance just prior to his return trip to Miami only to receive the news that the car was on its last legs. I made the decision to replace the old car and a few weeks later, after my son had returned to Miami with my vehicle, the new car was delivered to the school where I work. This set off a whole series of interesting events involving the entire family.
Because I now had two cars at work, my sister and her husband offered to drive the old car from my school to my ex-husband’s office. My ex-husband offered to drive the car from his office to his home. My brother offered to drive the car from my ex-husband’s home to his home where he would help me to sell it for parts.
Over a two week period, the old car was relayed from family member to family member, making its way ever so slowly to my ex-husband’s house. When it was my brother’s turn to drive the car, five minutes after leaving my ex-husband’s house (and on the last leg of its journey), the old car conked out on the side of the road.
While I’m sorry the car died on my brother, I’m grateful it died on my brother. He took it all in stride, saying he actually enjoyed the Saturday adventure. I suspect he told me that so I wouldn’t feel bad. (It worked. Now I feel less bad.)
While my gratitude is enormous (for my brother, for my family’s help, and because the old car lasted as long as it did), I must confess that every time I think about the car’s journey, I experience a sense of awe and wonder, too. The car could have conked out on any one of us but it quit on my brother, a guy who spent hours in the garage when he was young tinkering on cars with our dad, a guy who knows cars and enjoys puttering with them, a guy who’s really good at fixing motors, and a guy who says he enjoyed the experience.
I marvel at the workings of the universe and I wonder if my dad, who passed away last year, had a hand in keeping the car running as long as it did. I can see my dad, in my mind’s eye, riding shot-gun in the car, country music playing on his invisible radio, while the car made its long journey home.
I wonder too, if my dad had a hand in the car’s timely demise. Perhaps he decided to have some fun, tinkering with both my brother and the engine at the same time, and the thought makes me giggle. I can see my brother standing beside the broken down car, scratching his head in perplexity, with my dad laughing in amusement at the side of the road.
Yes indeed, the universe works in mysterious ways and we may never understand it. Perhaps we aren’t meant to understand it. Perhaps we are simply meant to contemplate it, to be in awe of it, and to marvel at – and maybe sometimes even giggle at – its mysteries.
Debbie L. Kasman
Author Lotus of the Heart: Reshaping the Human and Collective Soul