Several friends wished me "traveling mercies" before I left, an expression I first encountered in Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith. I sometimes think of traveling mercies as just in time grace, and so often grace with a wry sense of humor peeking through.
There have been traveling mercies in my wanderings. A partial list of the ones I've noticed:
- the young woman who helped haul my suitcase packed with books up the stairs on the Washington Metro (the escalators were out) and then blessed me
- realizing that my passport had expired BEFORE I got to the airport (two weeks before, in fact - time enough to go into Philly, get it renewed and have lunch with a friend)
- Math Man's willingness to trek across Philly to pick up the passport when it was ready (since I was off on another trip and stressed that picking it up 24 hours before I was due to travel was cutting it a bit close)
- the kitchen staff who produced plain chicken and mashed potatoes when I was recovering from a stomach bug on the last trip
- the young man who signed me into the college network so I could answer student email
- an extra seat next to me on the plane to London
- the bracingly hot and sweet cup of tea - real tea - the flight attendant produced in when I declined coffee
- a moonbow - with a nearly full moon, seen from a bus as it followed its serpentine route between Heathrow terminals
Photo is of the front door of Eastern Point Retreat House. I had a couple of hours or so to wait until my taxi came to take me to the train station, but grace descended in the form of another retreatant's sister, who lives in Gloucester and wouldn't hear of my sitting there. I got a ride to the train station and brief tour of Gloucester along the way. Traveling mercies.