Monday, February 1, 2010

Abundance when you least expect it

Opportunities exist all around us to feel abundant, and they happen when you least expect it.

I went down to my parents in South Jersey this past weekend. My mom, a retired teacher, was being honored among her other retired colleagues at an evening event.

That afternoon, out of the blue, or perhaps more literally out of the gray sky, eight inches of snow fell on the little island town where I grew up. No one expected it; maybe an inch or two was expected at most. Neither my husband nor I brought the right shoes or coat, and no one had salted the driveway or roads prior to the storm either. And as the snow kept falling, we began thinking that maybe we shouldn’t go at all.

Sure enough though, when you least expect it, help arrived. The phone started ringing. It was her old friend and colleague. She was going to the event despite the snow, and she lives an hour away! (We live five minutes away from where it took place.) My parents lent us shoes and coats, and my husband along with all the neighbors went outside to shovel the path. My husband drove and dropped us off at the front door so my parents wouldn’t have to walk through the snow. We made it to the event, in time, and so did over 100 other people.

Despite the challenge of getting there, we had a great time! We saw old friends, met new people, heard great music, and were touched by the words of what former students had to say about their teachers.

This may seem like an ordinary story, or perhaps not worth even mentioning. But I am. Why? Because we can find so much goodness in this every day story, which quite frankly would cause most to complain - including me.

If it hadn’t snowed, would I have realized how helpful our neighbors are? Would my husband have been called gallant by at least five people that evening? Without that help, would I have had fun conversations with old and new friends? Would my mom have received the honor of being honored for over 30 years of hard work and dedication?

Just a simple story, yes, of everyday life, which at first may seem annoying, painful, worth a complaint or two, or even too mundane to even speak of. But within these ordinary life circumstances, there are also opportunities to show us all the goodness and riches in our lives. They give us an opportunity to feel abundant.

And they happen when you least expect it.

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