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Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Long Bus Ride

View from the Nantucket, the boat to Martha's Vineyard.

I am making the trip from Providence, R.I. to Oak Bluffs, MA, on Martha’s Vineyard.  This trip generally takes -- generously -- three hours.  Thus far, five hours have elapsed and I am still on the journey.  It was a trip I made often in my youth.  I remember now that the only way to manage the trip is with tolerance, forbearance and forgiveness.  At one point, a woman, whom, I want to believe was trying to help me, told me I was on the wrong bus altogether!  When I squeezed my way up front to ask the bus driver, she said, “Who took your ticket?” 
 I said, ‘Why, you did.”  
“Exactly.  I can read. I read where you are going or I wouldn’t have let you on. You tell that woman to mind her own business.”  
When I got back to my seat, the instigator asked me what the bus driver told me. I said “She said I am all set.  Thanks.” 
Meanwhile, I have noticed the bus is late in taking its leave.  The minutes add up when, at each of the stops, there is yet another delay.  Finally, we reach Bourne, where those of us who are headed to the Vineyard dismount to await another bus that will get us to Woods Hole.  It arrives late. It arrives full.  There are five of us waiting and three seats. With some juggling in which loners are forced to forfeit the seat they reserved for their luggage, we are underway.  Finally, the bus driver calls out, “Woods Hole, this stop, Woods Hole.”  Because we have been running so late, we missed our ferry and must wait an hour for the next boat.  I wait in the cold, raw, wind, wishing I had winter gear. 
I welcome the snug warmth once I am on the ferry.  The passage seems long because I am so tired and simply want to be home.  When I disembark, I am grateful that my sister  
is there to greet me and she offer me a ride home, as well as dinner.  My mind flits back to some of the people I met on my trip and my reflection that tolerance, forbearance and forgiveness makes for a saner passage.  This is as true for life as it is for a bus ride. 

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