After a month of amazing travel I got back to my Lyfting. Yesterday (Friday) was a reminder that I love doing this for the connections with folk that I encounter. I could write about any one of the 10 rides I gave but to not share with you about this most remarkable young woman would feel like winning the lottery and keeping it a secret. It was ride #9, I had just dropped off a Denver newcomer at the Botanical Gardens and I got “pinged” for a pick up in the same spot. She hopped in the front seat and the destination said Denver International Airport. This seemed strange as she had no luggage. “This was my stopover on the way to Utah, what a beautiful place”. Without me asking she said, “I am taking a break from my Master’s thesis. I just need to clear my head and go hiking in Utah”. She told me she was from south Texas where the ruby red grapefruit come from. I said “Brownsville” ? With a bright smile she said “Exactly”.
What transpired in the next 40 minutes was one of the most engaging and inspiring moments in my almost-four-year Lyft career. When I told her about this blog she gave me complete permission to share about our connection… in fact she hinted she would be honored. When she told me she was from south Texas I assumed by her brownish skin and almost black hair she was Hispanic. Wrong!!! She is the child of Lebanese refugees who came here as a result of that war. She is getting her Masters in sustainability relating to agriculture, specifically how ‘heavy metals’ are affecting what we eat. We covered topics from the environmental crisis, matters of faith and spirit, biblical contextual conversations, to my recent trip to DC to do work on behalf of refugees.
About 10 minutes from the end of the ride I asked, “Tell me your name again please”. With a most radiant smile that reflected being in her presence she said simply, “Joy”. She lives up to her name. Joy is not the same as happiness. Joy is a gift of the Spirit. It is the response to the profound beauty of existence and life. I dropped her off at the curb and we both knew that something special happened between two strangers. We said goodbye, I looked at her and said “This makes me sad”. I thought as I drove off how much I have sucked in my life at saying goodbye. Then I thought of the Navajo saying “In Beauty it is Finished”.
Onward and Upward,
Mark … I am really glad to be driving and writing aga