Due to the present workload, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.
— Sign in Hobo’s Café in North Palm Beach, FL
On the day I saw this sign my sister, mother, and I were in the middle of the fourth day of packing up mom for a move from Florida to Colorado—four days of intense cleaning, clearing, and making time-sensitive arrangements. The end wasn’t anywhere in sight—we had four more days to go.
Emotions were raw, and exhaustion reigned. Despite the workload and the situation, there was an overriding urgency and concentration that kept us all rooted in the moment, however grimy or grim it might be.
We started to notice a fascinating pattern. First was the relief of the belly laughs we shared when we read the sign in the café. The grace of synchronicity began to show up in full force, bringing flow and ease to what seemed overwhelming. After three no-shows, a random pick out of the phone book produced a buyer for mom’s car. People showed up out of nowhere to be gifted with items that would otherwise have gone to Goodwill. Schedules coalesced, and support appeared from everywhere.
I learned an invaluable lesson last week. Staying in the present with everything—the grimy and the grim and the grace—allowed me to see my way through the darkness. And guess what? The light at the end of the tunnel was there at the end of the week, as bright and clear a beacon as I’ve ever seen.
Photo by Barry Shapiro