Six years back a friend lent me his car for a two week east coast tour I had coming up, from Maryland to Massachusetts.

I was so honored and grateful that he had entrusted me with his ultra cool wheels to make my journey easier. To top it off, pun intended, it was a BMW convertible.

I never had such a cool car to drive before.

Eight days into my road trip, and everything was going smoothly… well attended gigs, great times…

Then, right before my last gig, which was a weekend workshop, I was at my mother’s condo on Manhattan’s upper west side, and I could not find the car keys.

I looked everywhere. I simply could not remember where I put them.

I’m great at being in the moment, making up songs out of thin air, but remembering where I put things? Not so much.

Eventually I admitted defeat and texted and called my friend. Maybe he had an extra key.

No answer.

Breathe, Scott, breathe.

Mom was hovering over me, trying to be helpful while freaking out.

Breathe, Mom, breathe.

She did not.

Can’t control my mother.

Breath, Scott, breathe.

The idea fairy whispered in my ear to try to find public transportation. I looked at buses, trains… there was nothing that could take me to the remote part of Western Mass where this workshop was soon to begin.

I kept trying my friend. Finally he answered. He put me on hold and searched high and low, while I practiced letting go of needing a specific outcome, and my mother practice holding her breath and perfecting her freak-out.

He got back on the phone. Yes, he had a spare key.

I grabbed my guitar for the taxi ride I was about to take crosstown to my friend’s east side apartment.

My mother protested.

From her point of view, this was a crisis, not a musical, and the guitar was inappropriate.

After all, it looked like I was going to be quite late to my gig, a group of people paid up and counting on my presence.

It was Friday afternoon, the start of the Memorial Day Weekend. Manhattan’s gridlock was gnarly.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to sing and laugh about them, and the wisdom to remember that my happiness is never dependent on circumstances I can’t control.

I asked my cab driver if he wouldn’t mind me singing some songs. He did not.

First up, I made up a blues ditty about the crosstown crawl we were in. If my driver could have danced he would have.

Then I asked him for a song request, and he suggested La Bamba. I got super into it, strumming away all the stress I had been feeling, singing my spirit back into joy and celebration.

He was singing along and beaming. He had never been serenaded before in his cab. Maybe never in his life.

Up next were Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. And I was just warming up. We had some time to kill.

Actually, there was no killing involved.

It was one of the most enjoyable taxi rides either of us had experienced.

When I got back to my mother’s apartment I went to her fridge for some quick fuel, only to spy, chilling on top of the lunch I had bought that morning, the original car key.

Oh, yeah.

I had placed the key there so I would not forget my lunch.

My mother, 88 years young, quite often forgets things. She began laughing. I joined in. We laughed ourselves silly.

I got into the BMW and slipped into the traffic.

The app on my phone helped me find the path of least resistance to my destination.

I made it to my gig just fifteen minutes before it was about to begin.

I told everyone my story. They laughed. Everyone could relate.

I will lose things from time to time, but if I remember my sense of humor, my sense of perspective, and my willingness to grab my guitar and sing about the inevitable bumps in the road….then I will never lose my keys to what is most important… the keys to peace, love, and happiness.

May be an image of car

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