Thursday, 9 April 2015

Maybe so, maybe not

My car was due for its annual inspection, so last Wednesday, off I went to the garage, a one-man shop located on the outskirts of my neighbourhood. I met my mechanic on the way, who rolled down his window and informed me that he had some errands to run, but that I could leave my car parked on the lot and throw the keys in his letterbox, no worries. And so off I drove, and parked my car in a space outside his workshop. It was a lovely, sunny morning and as I was walking towards the letterbox I was admiring the surroundings. My mechanic not only works on the property, but lives there as well in a pretty farm-house type dwelling. His children grew up there and he still keeps goats which my children love to pet and feed. Anyhow: there I was admiring it all when I mindlessly dropped my keys into his letterbox.
     Yes: mindlessly dropped.
     My keys.
     My house keys... my house keys, oh no!
     I peered into the letterbox and believe I even called out: 'Sorry, mistake, silly me, come back up please!' And for a crazy second I even thought I could rewind the moment ('Back a few seconds, please!').

So there I was. House nearby but no keys. When a vague sense of panic and annoyance ('What will I do now? How could I have been so stupid!') had settled, I looked at my surroundings once more. Normally I would have rushed back home to get onto the computer to do some work, but that was now not an option. Enjoying the outdoors was. And so off I went for an hour's walk which did me the world of good. I felt winter crankiness dispel with every step, I felt myself waking up. How lucky I was! When I arrived back an hour later, refreshed, my mechanic was well and truly at work. I didn't even need to tell him the story: 'You're not the first to have thrown your house key in my letterbox and enjoyed a morning's walk,' he said with a cheery grin.

It reminded me of that Buddhist story which I won't relate in full here, save the gist: sometimes unfortunate things may not seem as unfortunate as we at first think. May I rush to say that this was only a mild inconvenience and nothing compared to life's true misfortunes, of course. But still. It's easier to train ourselves in this way of thinking when we start small.

A small misfortune was also the fate of the Eiffel  I showed you last month. Yes, as a number of you predicted: it was knocked over. By accident. By one of son S's friends, who came over to play. He was pretending to be a fighter pilot of sorts, and the tip of his wing touched the tower ever so slightly, causing the whole structure to come crashing to the ground (poor kid!).  Ingrid was right: we should have glued it.  Is it a pity the Eiffel is gone? Maybe so, maybe not. I suspect not. I suspect it will make room for new things.

There is one more thing I would like to share with you. It concerns the mother duck and her ducklings below. I discovered them in our garden (yes, in our garden!) when I came home one day last week. We had been having ghastly storms over here and just the evening before we had seen footage on TV of a mother duck whose ten ducklings were blown away by the wind -  unfortunately son S saw it too and was inconsolable. So the next day - incredible as it may seem - there was this duck family in our garden for the first time ever. Can you believe our amazement?