However beforehand, I am embarking on a weekend Enneagram retreat with my sister to gain insights into myself, expand my sense of possibility and grapple with the meaning of existence on this earth.
It really did deliver. As much as one can shed new light on oneself in two days, I felt enlightened.
An aside, I love these two definitions offered for enlightened, adj.,: 1) Having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook. 2) Spiritually aware.
My sister, Jill, and I left the retreat feeling rational, modern, well-informed, and spiritually aware. We were now clear that life was full of abundance ready to show us the way if we were open and insightful enough to receive.
But first we had to cross the highway and then the tracks into what felt like a desolate Mexican town. It was a sketchy alley. An empty almost haunted dump yard, with music playing from an unknown source. Mangled, amped-up, neglected cars packed a concrete back lot. I was supposed to leave my keys.
I left Jill to fend off the heat and the ghosts of drag racing past and began my cautious search. Eventually I uncovered a back office and called out until an old man surfaced. With my husband on the phone as a translator we started spelling out the arrangement when I heard in the air . . . bells. They reminded me of the ice cream man you heard growing up or on the beach, except they were coming from, yes, wait, . . . an ice cream man.
Out of nowhere, a leathered, round face appeared, wearing a hat that wasn’t doing its job; pushing a cart and fast approaching me. I waved him off in disbelief, guarded and anxious to leave.
When I turned around I saw my sister waving frantically. I watched her dive head first into the ice cream cart. I couldn’t believe it. She was actually buying a popsicle!
I slowly came to her side, studying his pocked face in detail behind the mirrored shades. “Do you have coconut?” I asked.
He pulled out strawberry, lime and chocolate.
“Do you have coconut? I repeated.
He pulled out rice pudding, watermelon, and cherry.
“But what about coconut?” I rephrased.
He pulled out cinnamon, pineapple, and mixed berry.
I settled for pineapple. Jill paid. We said thank you. He grinned and started to push his cart along the concrete quiet into the alley.
Jill quickly backed out of our narrow spot as I held the dollar in change. We knew we wanted him to have it, so we peered down both directions of the back street, but it was empty.
He had disappeared as quickly as he had arrived.
Licking our melting wake up calls on a stick we laughed and got chills. What part of our weekend learnings needed to be driven home? The learned quick “no thank you” response when life tries to give us unexpected treats? The frantic waving for life to see us so we can partake in dessert? The abundant flavors of life that can be passed up in search of the single answer?
Stay open. Receive. Know you are supported. Try a taste, even when it's not what you ordered. And be generous with your blessings.