It had been a pleasant day. Perfect summertime with a stillness in the air, a vibrant blue sky and a warming sun. It’s late afternoon and I’m beginning my journey home on a quiet suburban street in England waiting for a bus to the train station. I was so engrossed in pretending to be horses in the park with my son that I missed the easy bus and was now cutting it fine to catch my one and only train home. But it’s ok — I’m in good spirits and calm about the whole thing.
But where is my bus? It’s a 10 minute ride to the station which would leave me with 5 minutes extra to find and board my train. Come on bus. Nope. The bus does not hear me and is lazy enough to miss its time and still be absent 5 minutes later. This is no longer ok. I feel cheated and confused as to why my path home is unclear. My mind starts to run through the expensive and complicated options I would face if I miss this train. But, ever the optimist, I have not given up all hope and I manage to find enough peace to ask for a miracle. Because that is what it will take to get me on that train at this point.
Still no bus and it’s late enough now for me to let it all go and resign myself to my new fate. There was a stillness in the street, the shadows of leaves moved serenely on the pavement. I looked up as a black taxicab appeared from a side road. Mysterious. Could it be? Yes! It’s empty. I flag him down and dive in. “To the station please”. This is turning out to be quite exciting after all.
It’s about a 7 minute drive. Traffic is quite heavy today but my driver is skilful and knows all the tricks. The sunlit scenery is rushing by and it starts to feel like this could really work out. Half way through the journey my heart sinks as I remember I have hardly any cash to pay with. I rake through my wallet and find £5.80. I look at the steadily rising meter and cringe. The ride becomes a strange game — the closer I get to where I want to be, the further I am from being able to pay the driver.
The meter passes £5 and we’re still not there. We dodge down a side-street or two and then there is the station roof rising up at the end of the road. The meter is on £5.60. We arrive as it ticks over to £5.80 and that is the first time I feel I am being guided here. It was a moment of peace on this divine dash. It was as if I’d already made it.
Then like Trinity willing Neo to come home in the final chaos of the Matrix, a voice urges me towards the final challenge. I quickly pass over my handful of coins and say profuse thanks and apologies for not adding a tip. I can’t wait for him to count it all out. I’m already gone and running towards the station entrance. The grand old clock tells me my train should be on the platform. Maybe this is possible…
But the main station entrance is closed for refurbishment! I run down the side of the building towards another way in, an underpass with exit tunnels and stairways for each platform. There are about ten exits on each side and I have no idea which platform I need. I am lost here. Echoing down the tunnel is the noise of announcements and trains arriving.
I sprint down the tunnel and ask the angels for a sign. My heart immediately focuses on a passageway to the left and I veer down it and up the stairs on sheer faith alone. At the top is a train with the doors open but sounding a warning beep as they begin to close. I fly through the narrowing gap with the shout of an annoyed platform guard at my heels. This is my Indiana Jones moment. I’m on a train but I have no idea if it’s the right one. Then, over the tannoy I hear my destination listed. Yes! I am laughing and feeling the bliss of true divine guidance.
Catching the impossible train was worth every rapid heartbeat.