Following the enthusiastic response to my tale of Trust blog a few weeks ago, this week I am sharing a story from many years ago about synchronistic events that revealed to me how supported I am when I listen and observe the signs around me. It was 1994 and I was in Dingle bay in southern Ireland. I was with four good friends and we had journeyed down to Dingle to seek out a wild Dolphin called Fungi. We had had a couple of clear nights and unspoilt by light pollution, the stars took our breath away. We had braved the Irish Sea at four in the morning hoping for some deeply significant spiritual experience with Fungi but towards the end of our week we were running out of enthusiasm as it had been raining most of the time and we hadn’t really brought the right clothing. We had improvised with black bin liners and looked like badly constructed scarecrows only capable of scaring themselves.
A friendly sheepdog took pity on us, seemingly bemused by our antics and had come to our rescue when we accidentally left a farmers gate open and let all his cows escape. The sheepdog to our amazement, just rounded them all up and got them back where they belonged and then looked at us impatiently as if to say, “Are you going to lock the gate now or do I have to do that as well?”
We had return coach and ferry tickets from Cork so we planned to take the bus to Killarney first thing in the morning and get our coach connection from there but when we arrived at the coach station early the next morning there were no more seats left. We hadn’t realised it was a public holiday and everyone it appeared was going to the UK that morning. We asked if there was another ferry later that day and were told only from Dublin which was a six hour drive away and we would have to buy additional bus tickets with money we didn’t really have and the next bus wasn’t for hours. There were four of us and it was pouring with rain as usual so hitch hiking wasn’t an option and we didn’t have the money to hire a car or stay another night in Killarney.
We decided to go to the café for a cup of tea and to think through our options. We didn’t feel particularly concerned as the week had been such an adventure but it was clear that we were stuck and needed something to get us out of this situation. As we drank our tea, we heard a distant announcement in a broad Irish accent over the public address system.
“There is a special bus service to Dublin leaving in five minutes from gate four”.
We all looked at each other hesitating for a moment and then in unison shouted
“That’s for us”.
Leaving our tea unfinished, we ran to gate four and there greeting us was a bright blue 1940’s bus in immaculate condition with its driver smiling through inch thick glasses that made his eyes bulge.
“Are you going to Dublin,” we asked
“Sure am” he replied, “Climb aboard”.
“But we haven’t got any tickets,” we said.
“Oh you don’t need tickets on my bus,” he said with a laugh
We climbed aboard in disbelief, leaving the door open, he started the bus and off we went, a completely empty bus except the four of us and the driver. He was typically eccentric and an Elvis fan and used the bus’ microphone to sing Elvis songs the whole way to Dublin. We got the full history of the black stuff and he even stopped at a pub near Dublin for us all to have a pint of Guinness. When we did arrive that evening at the Dublin coach station, we waved a fond farewell as our driver pulled back into the Dublin traffic and pushed our way to the ticket office to see if we could get on board the last coach to England. To our amazement there were just four seats left on the coach just for us.
As for the 1940’s coach and driver, It turned out he had just dropped off some pensioners on a retro bus tour and a thought crossed his mind that someone might need a lift so he made an announcement on the tanoy system to see if anyone wanted to go to Dublin.