Miracle of the Car Keys
We were in the middle of an informal photo shoot, January 3, a week and 3 days after Christmas. The holiday sparkle had faded. A few tired evergreen wreathes and trees were still up, but no one was interested anymore in binge shopping or mindless over-eating. The bleak mid-winter was about to set in. It was time to get down to business.
JD and I were in the sanctuary of the beautiful old Community Church in Aspen, and daughter Annie was snapping some great pics of us at the grand piano, in the glow of stained glass and the golden pipe organ. We were all in a creative right-brain mood, when at one point I realized I had left some critical props in the car. Still dreaming of ideas for the publicity shots, I made my way down the old wooden stairway, past the main entrance, which was locked, through the church basement where they hold all the 12-step meetings, and then out the side door. I trudged through some new-fallen snow to the car, retrieved the props, and swept back in past the antique wooden nativity scene still left over from the Christmas holidays. I remember thinking it was probably time they got around to taking that old thing down.
We finished the photo shoot, happy with our new pictures, and walked over to the girls’ house to get ready to take them out to dinner. Or maybe we drove. JD had his keys. It wasn’t until we were in the middle of our Mexican feast at the restaurant that I realized my keys weren’t in my purse. I couldn’t find them in any of my pockets either, but we were having too much fun to worry much about it at the time. After dinner I looked around the area where the car had been parked, but it was dark and there was too much snow to see anything. I gave up, figuring they would turn up somewhere.
They didn’t. I went back the next day and the day after, and scoured every possible place I could think of where I might have left my keys: The girl’s living room, their snowy path, under random cars parked in the street outside the church. Nothing. I felt like a complete dork. The church secretary looked everywhere, the janitor found nothing. I called the restaurant. No luck. The keys had vanished.
I continued to sift through the snow and the wisps of my memory throughout the next week, silently beating up on myself for being such a flake, mentally torturing myself in the voice of my mother. “Honey, when was the last time you remember having them?” I hate that question. It’s obvious that I didn’t remember anything except that I had unlocked the car, gotten my stuff for the photo shoot, and then…..blank.
This kind of thing often happens to me when I’m in that Alpha brain wave state. It is fabulous for creative imagining and writing song lyrics, but not so great for walking responsibly through the 3-dimensional world. I am often aware that I have a squadron of angels watching out for me, literally guiding me through my days. I talk to trees and rivers, and thank the nighttime stars out loud. I like to live my life as a love story.
JD was about to order new keys, a very expensive and time consuming little proposition, since they were those fancy computer kind which you have to get from the dealership. I had resigned myself to being a classic loser.
And then, a week to the day after the Big Loss, I got a call from the secretary at the church office. “Hey, I think I might have found your car keys.” I broke into a cold sweat, and, oddly, imagined the sounds of a distant angelic choir. “Really?” Yes, the description matched. I had been saved, redeemed, rescued, my reputation restored.
“Hey Sandy,” I said, “Just out of curiosity, where did you find them?”
“Yeah, that’s funny,” she continued, “They were in the crèche. When we took the nativity scene down, there they were. Anyway, you can come by and pick them up next time you’re in town.”
OK, the rational mind says that some benevolent recovering alcoholic must have found my keys outside in the snow on they way to their AA meeting in the church basement, and since no one was in the office they probably just stashed them in the crèche, figuring that sooner or later someone official would see them and return them to their rightful owner. Fine. But come on, really? In the crèche? In there with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus?
Some things are better left un-analyzed.
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