Ok, so, I am something of an edge dweller. I’ve relocated many hundreds of miles from a gargantuan metropolis to the tiniest rural, mountain berg imaginable (tho now that I’m here I’ve seen tinier) to find peace, conscious community, and a deeper personal connection with nature. I’m scraping along with freelance gigs, and have stopped using credit accounts to bridge gaps in income/outflow. Being out on the limb like this can make one… let’s say… creative. Sounds better than crazed.
Especially challenging are all those unexpected “emergencies” like health crises, pet crises, and automotive crises… the latter of which inspired this post.
The other day I was on an exploratory road trip, checking out some of the wondrous local terrain, towns, etc. I pulled into a gas station and fueled up at a pump sporting a sign about its fuel containing up to 10% ethanol. I did this totally unconsciously… vaguely noticing the sign, not registering enough of a blip about it to think twice about putting it in my innocent, unsuspecting, and already maintenance-hungry car. Back on the road, my engine light lit up.
This was not a welcome situation: alone, exploring fairly far from home, with the light that to me is the automotive equivalent to The Tower card in a Tarot spread blazing its warning. The engine light is vague but crucial; it yells, Get thee to a mechanic! Which also means, Be prepared to pile debt onto your plastic… except I no longer have plastic. So a serious problem could totally immobilize me, and have I mentioned I live way out in the boonies?
I drove all the way home with that light on, feeling terrible about feeding my poor innocent trooper of a car some phlegmy poison from the pump. Luckily, no breakdowns on the road. Back home, numerous people said Oh, ethanol doesn’t hurt cars! Maybe your gas cap just isn’t on tightly enough; that can make that light go on. One friend sent me to his favorite mechanic, who said the same thing (about the gas cap — which struck me as highly unlikely, having had this car a long time and never having That Light go on because I didn’t replace the gas cap correctly). The mechanic said, Ethanol didn’t hurt your car; I’ll just reset your light. Piece of cake.
Naturally this mention of “resetting my light” struck me. My vehicle is experiencing some kind of mishap, and now this guy wants to reset the light… which he did. I drove out of his garage, and two minutes later the light was on again! So much for his wisdom on the matter.
The light is not fooled by empty gestures.
People are still trying to tell me nothing is wrong with my car… especially nothing having to do with some strange fuel concoction that my car does not function well on. One person recommended I fill up on the highest-octane gas and let that cycle through the system; it could clean out the ethanol gunk. I now have a tank full of high octane, have been running around, and the light remains on. I am not hearing any overt complaints from under the hood, but I just don’t think that engine light would be on, politely tho obtusely calling my attention to a problem, unless there IS one.
So the mystery thus far remains. But the ordeal inspired me to address this option to reset one’s light. Seems a good metaphor for traveling through life as we do day by day, facing numerous ‘opportunities’ that might dim our lights, dash our hopes, sabotage our journeys, or darken our field altogether. If we can pay attention to the ‘dimmer switch’ of our perceptions being dialed this way and that by whatever influences… we can take control and dial it back up to maximal glow :). Discernment, discipline, and knowing when to change direction are primary tools to have in one’s toolkit.
Could the glow of a car’s warning light be a reminder to adjust the illumination of Self? Might keep various troubles at bay.
Trust as a child…
in signals from your own light.