The past few days have been long work days. That is by desire, but often there is not much I can do to control my hours beyond eight (we are guaranteed at least 8 hours each day). If there is a lot of mail, it takes a lot of time; if not, not. But, lately, I have been getting mail ready for other people to deliver before I get my own ready to deliver. That’s good for me because it takes a few hours to get a route ready and that is all overtime pay for me.
I liked it on Tuesday because I was scheduled on route “Salvation”, but I had to prepare route “God” for someone else. How could I lose, giving God to another while getting Salvation myself? I worked a couple of hours and God was ready to give away. The guy showed up, and I talked him through the route. He is thinking route 2201, and I am thinking, dear Lord I am giving you to this guy. I walked the guy through all the quirks along the path, what to watch for, etc. and I told him that I had put marker cards in whenever he might get confused and that I had made it “as easy as I possibly can” for you to know God, uh, I mean route 2201:)
And then I went to get Salvation ready. It is the most confusing route in the station to case (prepare for delivery), and it is not all that easy to deliver either. But, it is shorter than most people think. They come up to the case and just walk away, but it just ain’t too hard, you know? And you can see the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end, and along the way is a certain blackberry bush and a little later a stream where I always stop. I have prayed so hard next to that stream that I was once non-functional for a bit, and then well . . . it is all okay now. But, what a journey along that path of Salvation!
So, I am getting my own route ready now, and everyone else is slowly leaving and soon I am the only one left. And someone wants to trade vehicles and I am not a whiner (Oh, Timothy never complains about vehicles or anything. Thanks for switching, Timothy, they said when I said I don’t care which truck I take. Give dude that one if he needs it for his bad back or whatever and I will take what’s left). And of course, I do complain in my own way which only the most discerning may recognize (a superlative statement). But, I got the last vehicle available. It was a spare that had come in from somewhere else, and when I went to get in, once I’d found the key, I noticed it was different. It looked fine on the outside, and I could tell it was one of the older models, called LLVs (long life vehicles), which are my preference. But this one was unique. When I got in I noticed that it had, not one shelf on the left for mail and all the trays and so forth, it had three shelves. Well, this is going to be wonderful I was thinking. Three. Shelves. Everything I had could go right there beside me. And it was full of gas already, and I was getting excited, but dang I was two hours late so I had better get going.
It was fairly glorious driving that truck that day with its shelves and its gas, and it ran really well too for such an old vehicle. The day was easy and free and I only collapsed in glory a few times because of the music that day, and I finished with ease and then went to help my buddy, taking an hour and a half from him and ending up at Ray’s Farm.
So, when I returned I told everyone about that truck and how I enjoyed it and about the three shelves and that I wanted that to be my truck, and that I would volunteer to keep it as long as it was around. They smiled and said they had never heard of a mail truck with three shelves and that it must be one of a kind, and okay you can have it if you want it. And thanks for taking one of the older ones.
Today, when I got to work, I looked for that truck, because I was going to switch with anyone just to get it back. But it was gone, who knows how far away, and there is no longer a metaphor here because it was a truck and it was gone somewhere else, and I missed it. I missed that truck.
Oh well, today I gave Salvation to someone else (2 hours OT), and I was on route Prayer and would be at Ray’s Farm again. Here you go, “I have made it as easy as I can for you,” I told yet another person who would be following the path of Salvation on this day. Bye, fare thee well, thou art on thy own, I was thinking, as this other guy left with my work in his truck.
And I am at my Prayer case later, and again it is getting quieter and soon I am the only one left standing at the station. And somewhere in that, while I am standing there, I felt it wash over me. Not sure what to call it. I was thinking peace. Or joy. A gentle bliss. It was all of that, but more.
Now, I know that it was Beauty. All this day, Beauty has followed me and been beside me and I cannot even write about the music, as it was all day beautiful. At one point, I was thinking that I could not imagine a more beautiful day. But that is not even true; I can easily think of more than one scenario that would make it more beautiful. But for effect, I will say that I cannot.
Imagine something even more beautiful.
And, there was this one piece that made me laugh, and think “yeah, that’s about right.” I have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear. It was Viel Larmen Um Nichts (Much Ado About Nothing), by Erich Korngold, and I get it.
I am still laughing, and it is all still so beautiful. So near.
Mid-day, I flew around a corner while reaching on the dash for my water bottle or a boiled egg or something, and this rock fell off the dash and hit the floor. That’s it up there in the title (and here):
Very unsafely, I bent down and picked it up lest it get caught under my foot and make me accelerate into a ditch or hit a squirrel or worse run into a chestnut tree, and I was able to get it and then toss it up on the dash all the while moving, flying as I said, around a corner.
So, I finished all of that delivering, surrounded by beauty all day, and I thought about that truck and how unique it was, and those three shelves with all of my stuff from the day before, and Ray’s farm twice, and again about that washing, cleansing feeling in the morning, that the good is conquering the bad in heroic fashion, and how I am headed back now, and it has been a fine day. A beautiful day.
And as I am driving, I can see the rock that I had thrown back up on the dash. There is something different about it; there’s another side to it, a side with writing.
And here it is:
The rock is in the truck, but the beauty of today is still here, quite near . . .