Timing Is Everything

by DavalosMcCormack on October 19, 2010

Every once in a rare while something happens that leaves you marveling at the world.

The fabulous Ms. Shirley and I were recently in New Mexico on holiday. It’s an amazing place, truly one of the most unique parts of the U.S. on so many levels. One day we drove to Taos to visit the Pueblo where the locals have been living for at least 1300 years (and you thought 250 years was old for an American home? The Taos Pueblo looks pretty much the same today as it did when the Conquistador Coronado visited here on his holidays in August 1540.)

We toured the Pueblo and, after hearing the history of what other Europeans had done when they came I felt amazed that the locals would even allow us in. As we drove away we felt humbled by the experience and weren’t quite ready to go back to our motel so we drove to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to help wind down. The bridge is amazing. Hundreds of feet above the Rio Grande you are gazing down at Golden Eagles soaring below, and the bridge is swaying as cars drive over it.

Happy coincidence

So, there we were, drinking in the scenery, watching people riding horses along the edge of the gorge, staring down into the waters far far below. After a while we decided to head home and as we did we bumped into a dear friend who we hadn’t seen in over a year. Amy, and her husband Jim, live in St. Paul/Minneapolis and had decided at the last minute that they needed a break so they booked a quick trip. We’d all been staying in Santa Fe, not far from each other, but it took both of us to make a quick side trip to this bridge to meet.

The more I thought about it the more amazing it seemed. We were on one side of the bridge as we walked back to our car. If we had stayed there we wouldn’t have bumped into each other. If we had decided to leave one minute earlier we wouldn’t have bumped into each other. If we’d even been on the same side but looking the other way we wouldn’t have bumped into each other.

On so many levels everything depended on pure chance. And yet somehow it worked out because Amy spotted me, recognized me and called out my name.

It made me wonder about how often opportunities present themselves but for a variety of reasons they never work out. Maybe we don’t recognize what’s in front of us. Maybe we’re so busy thinking about other things we don’t even see what’s in front of us (if Amy had been busy taking photographs or checking her phone messages she wouldn’t have seen us). There are so many reasons why what happened shouldn’t have happened, couldn’t have happened.

And yet it did

So many of us never really allow ourselves to be open to the possibilities around us. That doesn’t just mean about the possibility of bumping into people we know in obscure parts of the globe, it means that even in our everyday lives we tend to walk around, closed off to the people and the world around us and so don’t see all the opportunities that are all around us. We walk around wearing sunglasses when the sun isn’t out. We have our iPods or MP3s pumping music directly into our ears so we can’t hear the world around us.

We create our own world but cut ourselves off from the real world. And maybe we miss out on a lot by doing so.

It was so wonderful to spend time with Jim and Amy, catching up. It felt all the more wonderful because of the random nature of our meeting, in a place far far away from where we all live.

New Mexico calls itself the “Land of Enchantment”. It’s a reminder that there really is magic all around us, if only we are open to it.

The bridge

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