Perfect Timing

Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present. ~ Alan Watts

A crowded city, congested traffic, construction, and a train boarding now. My fingers tapped nervously on the window between us. The cab driver was busy talking on his cell phone, seemingly oblivious to the urgency of the moment.

“Excuse me. Excuse me,” I said, touching his shoulder. He interrupted his discussion to look at me. “How long? We’ve got a train to catch.” My voice was high pitched and fast.

He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “When is your train?”


He looked at me and shrugged again. “I’ll try,” was all he would say.

My mind raced, and my hands started shaking. I had to get to my destination and didn’t want to be stuck at the train station. All kinds of images popped in my head as I went into an anxiety-ridden state. Hurry, hurry, I thought to myself. Get out of the way. Move over now.

The cab careened down the street honking its horn and weaving in and out of traffic. Two seconds later the cab driver screamed, “Son of a bitch!” as he almost collided with a florist van. I pitched forward nearly landing in the front seat.

Things were definitely out of control — the cab ride, the situation, me. At this point, I was panting rather than breathing.

So much for a relaxed weekend, I thought. How’s that intuition working out for you now? my inner critic goaded me. Grrr…

“Two minutes,” he said, looking in the rear view mirror. Completely mishearing him, I thought, Ten minutes! Oh no! I’m getting out and walking. I don’t have ten minutes. I began looking for the safest place to get out of the cab. It was at that point he pulled over.

“Here you are,” he stated with a smile on his face.

I paid him and jumped out of the cab. Hurry, hurry, the thoughts began again. You’re going to miss the train, my inner voice chirped in a sing song-y nasty tone. Betcha gonna miss it.

My body ran, my luggage traveling somewhere behind me. By this time, I was in an altered state, time slowing to almost a crawl. Though I was careening around people, it was as if I were underwater, slowly moving forward with my arm and legs flailing all directions. It was then I noticed an inner calm stepping forward even amidst the chaos.

It had been there all along. It was the calm in the middle of the storm, the eye of the hurricane. Time suddenly expanded, and it felt like I was being guided by unseen forces to my destination.

Somewhere, out of the sea of people, I saw an attendant in the corner of the room. She was highlighted to me, and I ran straight for her.

“Is this track 5E?” I asked, huffing and puffing. “Is this the train to Rhinecliff?”

“Sure is,” she said in a chipper voice. “You’re right on time.”

Something about her smile made me want to give her a great big hug.

“Honey,” she called after me in what I could have sworn was a Southern accent, “don’t worry! You’ve got perfect timing!” She smiled brightly and waved me on.

Once in my seat on the train, I let out a big exhale, amazed I was even there. Definitely divine timing, I thought to myself as I uttered a prayer of thanks.

Perfect timing, I heard in reply.

Yes, I agreed, it always is.

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