Part 3 of 3
Are you ever glad you do things your way, even when everyone else thinks you’re a bit daft?
During the 10 minute drive from our English inn to the train station, our taxi driver tried to convince us we didn’t need to arrive an hour before the train departed. (He’d said the same thing the night before when we booked the taxi.) Alex certainly thought we were rather strange.
Our plan to wait leisurely at the station watching the arrivals and departures actually turned into a scary, hectic experience.
In the midst of it all, I know I witnessed a true miracle that day. This is what happened.
Here’s the audio for this article if you’d prefer to listen:
As we entered the station, I stopped to pull my trip research out of my suitcase and my credit card from my purse, ready for a quick purchase. Rechecking our travel info for the day, I told the ticket master, “We’d like two one-way tickets from here to Axminster, but I’m not sure I know the best way.” To our surprise the fellow grumped – “Well, neither do I!”
Bill and I glanced anxiously at each other before turning back to the man behind the ticket window.
Muttering he opened up several print schedules and checked his computer. There were many interruptions when he asked us to move aside so he could sell tickets to his regulars. Finally he told us he’d worked it out.
We strained to understand as he explained the intricacies of the four hour trip.
Traveling from Kingham to Reading, we had only minutes to grab our luggage and find the train to Basingstoke. Arriving there, we had a reasonable amount of time to change trains again before continuing to Axminster. Since this was the same route I’d found online before leaving home, we were relieved.
What we hadn’t understood previously was that most train lines radiate out from London. Instead of doing this, we were in the middle of England traveling due south, actually transferring from one small independent train line to another. He’d also managed to work out which of the many British Rail passes would save us the most money, something I hadn’t been able to do. Now I understood his initial reaction. Our trip was most unusual.
With all the moving back and forth, trying to understand this fellow’s strong British accent and intricacies of the British Rail through the high glass barrier with the tiny speaker that muffled his speech, I was relieved to finally be ready to pay for our tickets.
Then the ticket guy asked me to step aside once again as he served another of his regulars.
Much to my dismay, as I turned away I realized my credit card was no longer clutched in my hand with my packet of trip info! Disbelieving, I examined the floor and all the counters. I checked each handy little pocket of my travel shoulder bag. I inspected everything again, more carefully this time.
My credit card had vanished! Poof!
Panicking, I wondered if another traveler had picked it up by mistake with all my shifting around – not likely. I envisioned slowly tapping out an email on my tablet to the credit card company cancelling my card while wondering if Bill’s would still work since we had the same number. (Did I think about using our international cell phone – no.)
And then I remember very clearly just stopping.
Stopping all the looking.
Stopping all the wild thoughts.
I closed my eyes, calmly opened my heart, and with clear intention called upon that aspect of the Divine who removes all obstacles. For me this part of the Divine is represented by Ganesh – the Hindu elephant headed god. He’s been a real part of our life for over a year. In fact Bill and I chant a devotion to him each morning and in our prayers request him to help our day proceed with grace and ease.
From the stillness of my heart I prayed, “Lord Ganesh, I’m handing this over to you. We need one of your miracles here right now. I can’t find my credit card. Please remove all obstacles to my credit card returning to me. Thank you!”
By now Bill realized something was wrong and came to see if he could help. I explained the crisis. We both knew it was almost time for our train. While we could pay with his card, that wouldn’t solve the problem of my missing card.
Bill suggested I check my purse again.
Crossly, I told him I’d already looked through it twice and then started checking all the pockets again. As I pulled out the small manual for our overseas phone and flapped it in the air just as I’d done twice previously, my MasterCard suddenly popped up from between the pages!
With a heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to Ganesh, I zipped back over to the now empty ticket window and said with relief: “I’d like those two tickets from Kingham to Axminster and Rail Pass as you described.”
Tickets in hand, we gathered our luggage and took off for the walkway across to the other side of the tracks. Since Bill is a strong fellow, he carried his suitcase up the steep stairs, while I followed slowly, dragging mine up each step.
Ganesh wasn’t done with me yet, however.
A middle aged lady quickly stepped up behind me and lifted the back of my suitcase, saying “Let me give you a hand.” With gratitude I thanked her and we walked up, across, and down the other set of stairs with grace and ease. I thanked her again, thinking: “I’ve just been helped by another angel!” (If you missed my first British angel experience, you can find it here: Our Best Travel Day & The Worst – Meeting an Angel)
As we stood waiting for the train, feeling our adrenalin slowly subside, Bill and I chatted about what had just happened. We both agreed it was truly a miracle. Perhaps my card was nestled in that phone manual all along. Perhaps it had slipped away to an alternate universe for a few minutes.
All I know for sure is that it wasn’t there . . . and then it was!
We were excited about leaving the Cotswolds for a new adventure in Lyme Regis, a small Victorian resort town perched on the southern coast of England.
Mostly we were grateful for Ganesh’s assistance and eager for our last visit with my son Jay and his sweet partner Simone.
It was a beautiful day for a long train ride.
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