Anthology: A Collections of Flowers by Shiva

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    The Hubcap

Once I lost a hubcap. Now this may not seem to be a very important issue to most people, but for me it was terrible.

This particular hubcap belonged to the very first automobile that I had purchased new. I really kept that car in top condition. To look at my beautiful car with a hubcap missing was like looking at a famous movie star with a couple of teeth missing. It just ruined the appearance of the car.

Every time I drove the car, all I could think about was that missing hubcap and how the car looked like a junker without it. I noticed that I didn't wash the car or clean it out as often as I used to and I never waxed it anymore.

The loss of the hubcap occurred while I was working my way through seminary in Los Angeles. The commute on the freeway was about an hour.

I fell into a routine where everyday I would find my way to the "fast" lane, which usually ran about as fast as the others. But at least there I only had to worry about the traffic to the right and in front of me.

One day the traffic was crawling along in it's usual stop and go fashion, when I looked down and not five feet away was a hubcap on the center divider. It matched my car perfectly! The traffic had stopped and all I had to do was to open the door, get out and get it. But I hesitated. "What would the people around me think about it? How would it look?"

As I vacillated, the traffic moved ahead and I left the hubcap behind... The hubcap that would have restored the beauty and self respect to my automobile was out of reach.

During the following days I passed that hubcap. Everyday it just laid there, reminding me of my indecision and cowardice. Day after day the traffic would stop 100 feet in front of that hubcap or 100 feet behind it. Day after day it seemed to wave at me.

Caltrans (California Transit Authority) usually cleared the freeway of debris every couple of weeks. But not this time. For over a month that damned hubcap just sat there out of reach. I wanted it to disappear, yet everyday there it was.

Then one day it happened! The traffic slowly eased to a stop and the hubcap was only a car length in front of me. This time there was no hesitation. I did not give a damn what the other people might think. I would probably never see them again anyway.

I bolted out of the door and raced to the hubcap. I grabbed it and was waving it over my head in triumph to the sound of honking cars as I ran back to my vehicle. I jumped inside, threw the hubcap on the floor and resumed my place in the endless flow of freeway humanity. I lost only one car length.

The very next day, Caltrans cleaned the debris from the median.

The Hubcap Commentary
One of the necessary steps in spiritual development is learning through lost opportunities. It seems that we don't really realize the importance of a passed opportunity until we have let it go by us. This experience, later on, forces us to take up the challenge and do what is required.




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