Dammit, 4:55am on a Monday is way too early to be accosted by a flood of taxi drivers yelling, "Taxi, Taxi, yellow cab"! And, guess what? Yep, it's Monday, again!
Like cattle, we herd our way down the long ramp that funnels from the ferry to the street. Shuffling heal to toe, I'd say we move through with a bit more decency than cows, but not much. As we arrive at the street, the ramp narrows to a five-foot width where Taxi drivers posturing for position, span the opening.
I could feel by brow start to furrow as my mind cried, “Red Rover, Red Rover”! However, the tune recalled from my childhood was not playful —I was preparing for battle!
I took a deep breath and thought to myself, if I miss my bus again today because I can’t get through this taxi driver blockade, I’m going to…well yes, I knew there was nothing I could or would do.
I didn’t like the way I felt. I didn’t want to allow my day to start off wrong. I had no power over these men; the only thing I could control in this situation was myself. I knew I had to change my perception, I had to change my attitude. If I chose to live on the island and work in Seattle, this would be how I started every weekday.
I closed my eyes and reopened them determined to see through a new lens. Before I could take another breath, a driver in a white turban grabbed the suitcase of a woman who was stating in a loud voice, “No taxi, No taxi”! As she fought to regain control of her suitcase, another wave of annoyance came over me. I could feel anger building.
I disliked the way I allowed my body and mind to respond, and I hated that I judged these people with ugly thoughts. And then it occurred to me, these men could be in bed drawing welfare or living off someone else, but here they were at 5:00am - just like me - trying to provide for those they love.
Suddenly, the path before me broke open — or maybe it was my cloud of impatience and judgment? Either way, everything changed. I no longer saw men trying to block the walkway, but men who longed for a better way of life and dared to come to a world where everything was different and new. For the first time, countries, cultures, religions, and dreams poured out before me; a beautiful landscape of diversity.
I felt my inner growling disappear and a spirit of calm fell over me.
Today is Monday, again, and I'm amazed how life can be so much better — when we choose it to be. Now each morning when I approach the blockade of hopeful men, I find myself smiling at them. And, guess what? They step aside, and they smile back.
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