sometimes you get on the wrong bus

our first day in paris, we made a trip to carrefour to pick up underwear and deodorant while we waited for our lost bags to arrive, and when we came out, i was just sure we were getting on the right bus.

but then . . . we were sitting on the bus, after everyone had gotten off, and the driver says “madame, c’est terminus” (end of the line, ma’am) and i embarrassedly said, in french ” uh oh, i think i may have taken the wrong bus.”

he shrugged his shoulders and said, ” c’est le terminus”

thus began the two and a half hour trek back to our petit apartment when the right bus would have done it in 15 minutes.

so we took metros and RER’s walked for a while, another bus, stopped at countless places for directions . . . but eventually made our way back.

when i began debriefing, i realized that there were so many lessons in getting on that wrong bus. so many things that are related to my life and the work i am invested in.

every bus we get on, we hope it’s the right one. but even if it isn’t, we learn something, and we eventually make our way back.

i guess in so many ways, we can persevere to find our way home. the choice is up to us.

so, imagine my surprise, when passports were stolen, long train rides to embassys, and changing flights were all on the agenda for the final days of sabbatical.

what lesson could possibly be learned from this?

even though, this bus was not one i picked, somehow, someway, i keep finding my way home again. back to the place of calm and purpose. the life ahead that is full of adventure is also full of danger. whichever bus we choose to get on, we will find more than we expected. it’s the nature of life. some of those surprises are more fun than others. but if we don’t get on a bus, we don’t go anywhere.

may we love each other well knowing that we are all just trying to get home.

the second time i went to carrefour, before getting on a bus, i asked for help. turns out the bus i needed was a block and a half away and i had to search for it.


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