well, right off the bat I need to start with confessing I did something incredibly foolish. i got distracted and I lost the ignition key to my rental car. in a grocery store! it *was* for a good cause, I had picked up the phone because i had a dear friend who I knew was in need of a good conversation.

all of my mindfulness practice, be-in-the-moment stuff, yep, it all flew out the window as i shopped and talked and kept looking and looking for the dang mustard powder. it wasn’t “my” regular store and I was immersed in deep conversation. i went up and down every aisle, some a couple times. could I have stopped, sat in the car and completely focused on our talk? certainly that would have been the better solution, hindsight being 20/20 and all that. however, i was in a hurry to go to the beach with jax, i wasn’t paying attention and I really wanted that mustard for a meal I was planning.

2015-10-16 17.00.19samplecut to loading the groceries into the car. imagine if you will a gorgeous sunny breezy day in laguna beach. jax is waiting for me in the backseat, leash a-ready for that promised long beach walk. no deadlines or work needing to be done before the early afternoon. the shopping was done, the day was ours for the taking.

but wait, where’s the key? hmmm. i can get in the trunk easily enough, the windows are all open because Jax is in the car. okay, I’ll load these in. maybe i left it in the ignition? it fell onto my lap and is nestled in the seat, or on the floor of the car? dropped in the trunk? no, no and no again. on the roof? on the ground around the car? nope. i re-traced my steps. back to the grocery carts, in the cart, on the ground under the carts? naw. also, not in the store, not nestled by the cucumbers nor hanging out with the parsley, raspberries or celery. the club soda shelves were bare of club soda or stray keys.

a stockboy did a store sweep. the manager helped me look. the butcher came around and checked the top top shelves by the club soda. nada. zippo. two hours later I’m formulating backup plans, calling the rental car company because I won’t be returning their car on schedule. I’m looking up info, researching tow companies, getting advice, making calls to see how to get a new ignition key made. another hour spent on the floor in the produce section looking underneath everything, because it HAD to be there, somewhere. and finally the call to a tow company.

the first truck was too big for their lot. second truck wouldn’t take jax in the cab (!). I’m stuck. by this time it’s about 4pm and I’m sitting in the car with jax, doors open and working to compose myself. i’m trying to assure myself a lost key will not be the cause of lost composure. I am unsuccessful in this, as well.

The butcher walks out, off his shift and heading for home. he expresses surprise that I are still there and as I relate my story i finally lose it.

ryan the butcher offers us a ride to the dealer to pick up a new key. he spreads blankets in the back seat for jax, he waits at the dealership because they lost the new key and then the cashier was gone for the day. he drives for almost an hour roundtrip in rush hour southern california traffic to help me, a perfect stranger.

i rarely lose my belief in the goodness of people, and people like this are one of the reasons why. this kind man reinforced my beliefs that day. when i trust myself and am vulnerable, people respond in kind.

who have you helped today? and just as importantly, who have you allowed to help you?