Trickster energy was primary Thursday of last week, and it has taken me the weekend to recuperate from it. Loki was riding me to face myself and deal with a longstanding grievance I’d been holding on to, and all around me in other circumstances the Heyoka energy was predominant. (Heyoka is the Lakota word for trickster or sacred clown).

During my school bus run that morning it began with the drunken placing of the traffic cones. They were set up to narrow the single lane of traffic that was open, but some of them narrowed the lane of travel so much that my choices were to drop off the non-existent shoulder of the road or run over the cone. I murdered four cones rather than roll my bus down a steep hill side.

The “Keystone Cops” road crew saga continued when I got to my one and only turnaround at the end of a very long string of traffic. The turnaround is to my left, and I usually begin with a long swing in that allows me to curve the bus so that the direction of my back up is already pointing me in the best direction to come out of the back up into my right hand turn. The timing of the turnaround was lucky, as I was emerging from the line that was being held into the line that was being released by the flagger, but there were several obstacles in my path.

The cone truck parked in the turnaround was not a problem. She was willing to move. But the flagger had a real problem deciding where to put his lunchbox. I was ready to pull in to the turnaround, I look down, and there is his lunchbox. It took me a while to flag down the flagger to move his lunchbox, but I eventually caught his attention, and he did move the lunchbox. I backed the bus up carefully, and positioned it to move forward. I looked down from the driver’s seat, and smack dab in the path of travel again sat the flagger’s lunchbox. This time he threw me a look of disgust as he again went to move it.

As I pulled out into the open lane of travel, I did not have much space in the lane of the traffic that was being held. The flagger had not stopped traffic far enough back to offer me safe room for the turn. The fellow in the front car leaned far away from me as if he feared the bus striking his car, but I’m a good driver, and with ten inches or so to spare, the students and I were safely on our way again. I noticed that the Greene County Sheriff seated in his car behind the panicked guy seemed pretty disinterested in the event. So my conclusion of that episode is that the flagger was unprofessional. He was not intelligent enough to leave his lunchbox on the side of the road or intelligent enough to appropriately gauge the space a bus would need to turn around against the traffic he was supposed to be managing.

When I got to the school to pick up the children that afternoon, several drivers and I had a good chuckle over the traffic cone placement, but I think mine was the best narrative over the flagger with his lunchbox. One driver commented, “I wonder how they graduated flagger school!”

The rapid flow of events that day kept me present to myself, and I truly think that is the only way I avoided getting entangled by any of the situations that arose for me. When I think back to how I used to be -getting overly aggravated by “stuff” that just happened- I can see progress in my soul evolution.

Speaking of soul evolution, what about that grievance? The process required me to introspect, seek what emotions were turning up for me, identify the information they brought, and decide what I would do with that information. I don’t want to reveal too much that is personal in this regard, but suffice it to say that someone I care for deeply and I do not always manage to communicate clearly. This has resulted in some longstanding issues. The feelings that turned up for me revealed some actions I need to carry out if I wish to release and move on from letting those old (and tired) negative emotions bind my daily living. I fall back upon Jesus’ teaching of forgiveness – seven times seventy if that is what it takes. And go forward, no lunchboxes in the middle of the highway.


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