Remembering Where I Parked

A few days ago I had lunch with a friend of mine. I parked my car a block or so away from his house, and a couple of hours later I was heading back to my car to drive home. I went to the spot where I was sure I’d parked, but my car was nowhere to be found. My heart stopped. I walked up and down that section of street where I’d parked. I felt the panic start to well up as it hit me that, obviously, my car had been stolen. What was I going to do? I started thinking about whether I’d left anything valuable in the car. How would I get home? I couldn’t believe this was happening.

After walking up and down the same carless stretch of street for several minutes, all I knew to do was to go back to my friend’s house, so I turned and started walking in that direction. Just as I rounded the corner where I thought I’d parked, and headed back to his house, I saw my car. It was right there on the part of the street where I’d obviously left it. I had walked right past it, either not paying attention or convinced for some reason that I’d parked somewhere else.

It was as if the car had been invisible and then somehow, it had materialized right in front of me. I’m sure passersby were wondering why this guy was out on the street hugging a Pontiac.

Later I was wondering to The Team about the incident and my wildly fluctuating responses . . .

This is a perfect example of something that you do so often in so many less obvious or dramatic ways. You go looking for something–in some cases it may be something that feels lost to you, or maybe just something you want but either can’t remember where it is or can’t figure out how to obtain it . . . You search and search . . . you feel yourself getting more and more worried or afraid or stressed about where it is . . . . how to find it . . .

You mind races, your heart races . . . your body responds to this surge of negative emotion that is always—always—telling you that you’re looking in the wrong place or that you’re trying too hard or that what you want is not in the direction that you’re facing.

Then—when you’re ‘lucky’—you somehow manage to turn around. Something else distracts you or catches your eye. Your attention shifts for some reason to something else that feels better, that feels like relief to you . . . For whatever reason, you surrender. You give up your striving to force the thing you want to appear. You cancel the search. You may throw up your hands in what you call defeat. You release the last bit of resistance you have to insisting, demanding, NEEDING what you think you need to be there in that moment.

And in that moment of surrender, of letting go, of even forgetting what you think you needed to be . . . what you wanted suddenly appears. There it is. Right where it was all the time . . . . waiting for you to see . . . really see . . . waiting for you to really open your eyes and recognize that what you wanted was never lost . . . that what you want is always there, waiting for you to receive it . . . waiting for you to stop fighting and stressing and striving so hard to make it be.

We understand what a paradox . . . a conundrum this seems to be to you. You always scratch your head in bewilderment when that desired object appears. . . when your nearly forgotten dream manifests . . . when your lost keys materialize in the bowl on the table in the hallway where you are certain you did not leave them.

What we would most like you to understand about all this, is that there is so much, so much of the time, that you are not seeing . . . so much of what you are asking for is already there, right in front of you . . . but you are so busy looking elsewhere . . . or so convinced that you know better where it’s hiding when it’s not hidden at all . . . . it is simply not showing up on your screen because the movie you’re showing on that screen is one that doesn’t allow you to see it.

We harp on you so much about staying in a place of appreciation for what is . . . of giving your attention to the joy or satisfaction or fulfillment—the well being—that is always abounding all around you . . . because it is only in your recognition of that well being that your eyes are opened and you are able to truly see what you want . . . recover what you think you lost . . . receive what you’ve been looking and asking for.

Your car was waiting there for you, waiting for you to give up your determined search to find it where you were convinced it should be . . . The relief you felt—the joy you felt—when you saw it is the same relief, the same joy available to you every single time you remember—really remember—where you parked your true, blessed, bright, shining, view of you and all that is flowing around you.

It’s true. After I finished hugging my car, I had the sweetest drive home. The sun was shining. My car was purring like a kitten, obviously pleased that I finally stopped walking around in a frenzy and found her.

What was most striking to me was how quickly my mood changed, from panic-sricken and lost to thrilled and overcome with relief . . . . how the simplest act of recovering what I only thought was missing had taken me from lost to found in just seconds.

Something about that was so powerful . . . I’m still pondering it and wondering what else I might be missing . . . and what as yet unexperienced rushes of relief and discovery might be waiting for me, just around the corner where I thought I parked.

It leaves me wanting to keep my eyes—and my options—wider open, happy to be rolling merrily along on my much appreciated wheels, and feeling, for the moment, complete.


About Dan

Published novelist, poet, essayist, copywriter, photographer and college educator. Visit me at

Posted on October 14, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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