This morning, after dropping my daughter off at school and making the 25-minute drive across the freeway, I rolled into the parking lot a bit more stressed than usual. I knew the day would be a busy one because I had essays coming in during every period, and I was already running about ten minutes late. 

But just as I threw the engine in “Park,” I noticed the gray sky, the fat drops of rain that had just started dancing on my windshield (always worth a raised eyebrow in San Diego), and sensed the tangy smell of the wet parking lot asphalt wafting through my cracked windows.  As if on cue, “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac came on my stereo system and that was that. 

I undid my seatbelt, put my head against the head rest, closed my eyes, and started breathing slowly.  For some moments, I sat meditating in this self-imposed darkness, while for other moments I opened my eyes to look at the rain and the gunmetal sky.  All around me, the song’s haunting melody and Christine McVie’s lilting vocals were an instant spa, a soothing elixir, an unexpected moment of Zen. By the song’s end, about three minutes or so all told, I was calm and refreshed, ready to face my day.  TZT