Riding to Paradise Aboard the Happy Love Spaceship.

Via on Oct 21, 2010

I used to commute by bus from North Jersey into New York City, and every once in a while I would ride with a bus driver who was very different from the rest.

Unlike any other driver on the line, he was always smiling and gave you a hearty and lyrical “Good morning!” when you boarded his bus. He was also one of the few drivers who ever spoke over the bus’s public address system, which he used in a rather unorthodox way.

“Welcome aboard the happy love spaceship. Sit back and enjoy the ride,” was one regular announcement he made.

On the coldest, grayest days of winter he would pronounce: “It’s a beautiful day in paradise!”

Then, upon our arrival into New York City, in the dark and dingy Port Authority bus terminal, he would make his final declaration as we departed the bus. It usually went something like this:

‘Welcome to the beautiful beaches of Maui where it is 72 degrees. Get your complimentary Margarita on the way out. And don’t forget to put on sunscreen. Be safe and have a great day!”

One day I changed routes and never saw the driver again. But 10 years later, I still remember him—and the lesson he taught me. Our state-of-mind has nothing to do with what’s happening around us. And everything to do with what’s happening inside.

Addendum: Just a few days ago, I had reason to ride the same bus line again and overheard a conversation between the driver and a passenger. “Crazy Sal?” said the driver. “He still works for us part time. That guy’s a nut.” And it stuck me—Sal was the name of the driver I rode with 10 years ago. If I can track him down, I’ll tell you about it here in a few weeks.

 

About Tom Rapsas

Tom Rapsas is a blogger on inspirational and spirituality issues for Patheos, Elephant Journal and his own site The Inner Way. A long-time spiritual seeker and student of philosophy and religion, his influences include Thomas Moore, John Templeton, Napolean Hill, Ralph Trine and Ralph Waldo Emerson. A resident of the Jersey Shore, Tom lives with his wife, daughter and nine cats. He’s the author of Life Tweets Inspirational & Spiritual Insights That Can Change Your Life, which is now available for Kindle and as a trade paperback. His next book, the spiritual fable Thaddeus Squirrel, will be published in 2014. You can reach him at tomrapsas@gmail.com or via Twitter @TomRapsasTweets

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3 Responses to “Riding to Paradise Aboard the Happy Love Spaceship.”

  1. Newshoes522 says:

    This made me smile. If you can find him, I would love to see an interview here on Elephant! :)

    • trapsas1 says:

      Sal has been located! My niece read the story and recalled having the same driver–and the same experience–on a couple of occasions. She showed the story to a friend who rides the same line, Decamp, who sees Sal driving the "66" bus on a fairly regular basis. The story will be shared with him, and hopefully I'll have a follow-up in a few weeks. I truly look forward to talking with him.

  2. [...] bus driver who I would run into occasionally on the commute from North Jersey into New York City. As I wrote here on the pages of Elephant [...]

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