Riding the Bus

I showed up at a coffee shop about 45 minutes from where I live last week and ran into a girl I know. She looked up at me and said, “How did you get here?” I really had to laugh. I showed her my bus pass. Some people don’t think you can get around without a car.

I was one of those to some degree, but my friend, Terry, helped fix that one for me. I remember he called me at work one day last summer and said, “Hey, can I come hang out with you at lunch?” I asked where he was. “Oh, I’m at home.” I asked how he would get there. “I’ll just ride my bike.” He was a good 30 minutes from me . . . by car! That’s Terry. He also supplements the bike with the bus. I was in awe of the way he just gets up and goes. It gave me the courage to do that when I lost my car to that wreck.

I rode the bus in the snow for the first time today!

It was really cool, if you’ll pardon. There were a lot more people riding because of the snowy streets, and near the CU campus the bus was totally full and couldn’t stop for anymore passengers. I’ve seen that once before.

I’ve noticed that people have varying stories (in The Work of Byron Katie sense) about buses.

Some people have ridden buses all their lives. Maybe they lived in New York or San Francisco where that’s been a normal and necessary mode of transportation for decades. Maybe they had to ride a school bus or were bussed across town for integration of the schools in the 60’s and 70’s.

Other people, and this was me until a few months ago, have almost never ridden a bus for anything. I remember one time trying to take a bus to work from the TCU area of Fort Worth, Texas into downtown in the heat one day. I felt very motion sick and I never did it again.

Now, I have taken a few tour buses since then. I did San Francisco, Savannah and hmm… seems like there’s another one. I really loved the tours! Because of the Savannah tour guide, an animated Sage woman, who included mention of the famous spots in “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil,” I went straight out and bought the book. Loved it. I don’t remember any motion sickness.

So, when I got a bus pass and started riding the bus regularly a few months ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t bad. I tended to sit up front so I could see when my stop was coming. Otherwise, I’d miss it.

But in Ireland, we took a bus to a couple of our afternoon sites and again I experienced motion sickness. Why the difference?

Well, my roommate, Aubrey, kindly told me. She said, “Sit in the front and you’ll have less motion sickness.” She was absolutely right. Now I regularly ride in front.

When I was a little girl, I was told that buses were dangerous. People got stabbed on buses. And I am old enough to remember when the civil rights movement had not corrected the awful attitudes white people once had toward black people, or “coloreds” as my paternal grandparents called these beautiful chocolate brown human beings. It wasn’t that long ago.

So, basically, I was given to believe that little white girls shouldn’t ride buses.

They were wrong.

Now, maybe buses in LA or New York or somewhere are just as dangerous as my grandparents feared they were, but not here in Boulder, Colorado, aka a few square miles of utopia surrounded by reality. I love that one, of course. But I won’t deconstruct the ideas of utopia and reality and what makes it so right now. That, as they say, is another story for another time.

Right now I’m just all amazed at the experience of riding a huge box on wheels down icey hills and back up them, crammed in with maybe 50 other people on their way to school, work and beyond, who shared a few miles of street together with the kind bus driver who waved us on and waved us off with a very friendly, “Have a great day! Watch your step! Thank you!” at every stop.

It’s a miracle, isn’t it?

Love,

Stacy

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