I just had my brakes done 2 months ago, but I had squealing from the front left wheel of my car. The possibilities were 50/50, but it looked grim:
Sure, it could be that I just ran over a rock and it dented the interior rotor shield. It could be a factory defective brake pad. It could also be a torn dust boot or a bad CV joint. Either way, I’m pressed for time and money and I’m supposed to tow a trailer tomorrow morning. Yikes!
As I set of for the local garage at 2pm on a Friday, I felt like I could use some some help. Thinking quick, I rounded up some pocket change for Papa Legba. The Crossroads where I visit him often was on my way to the garage, so I started chanting as I drove:
"Please bless my car, Papa Legba, as I drive over your Crossroads.
Please bless my car, Papa Legba, as I drive over your Crossroads. Please bless my car, Papa Legba, as I drive over your Crossroads…”
I explained the situation and let him know what I wanted to have happen. I wanted it to be a simple problem. I wanted it to be an easy fix. I wanted it to be fixed quickly. I wanted it to be an affordable fix. I focused really hard on what I wanted to occur, banishing from my mind what I feared might happen instead.
I paused at the stop sign at his Crossroads for just a moment to close my eyes and see his veve shining brilliant white against the blackness behind my eyes. With his veve firmly in mind, and tears fairly sliding down my cheeks from concentration and directed energy, I intoned aloud one final time, feeling the prayer with all my being,
"Please bless my car, Papa Legba, as I drive over your Crossroads!"
The change (I’d gathered a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. I remember reading that as a suggested offering but now I can’t remember where. Did I learn it from you, CrowWoman?) slipped from my fingers and bounced across the intersection as I crossed, rolling and glinting in the light as I watched in my rear view mirror.
Almost immediately, I saw Legba in my mind, tipping his hat to me with a wry grin. I felt washed with relief so sudden I was almost shaking. Then, I was crying.
Holy crap, I did it, I thought. That was not just a working. That was not a just spell. That was not simply a Crowlean attempt to “affect change with one’s will.” That was a prayer. That was faith. I believe. He’s real. He talks to me. He answers me. I’m not crazy or imagining it. I really did it. Papa Legba is actually there and I feel him. He hears me and I listen. Wow.
After a 15 year “crisis of faith,” the reality was fairly stunning. But the best was yet to come.
When I got to the garage, I explained my problem to the mechanic on duty. He first remarked that he was terribly busy and gestured around him, “All my lifts are full.” But then something changed. He agreed to go ahead and take a look. He stopped what he was doing, washed his hands, and looked at my car immediately. In 10 minutes flat, he’d fixed it. It was indeed a dent in the shield behind the rotor. He showed me what was wrong, how to find and fix it in the future, and had my car ready to go again.
When I asked the mechanic what I could pay him for his time, he asked me for $5. I gave him $10 and a hug instead.
Holy crap. It worked. Not only is everything okay, but it took me a $10 and 10 minutes to find out and get it fixed… at a busy garage at 2pm on a Friday afternoon. What a resounding thwack on the noggin from the universe that yes, I was indeed heard! I laughed and giggled all the way home. “Thank you, Papa Legba!” I said, focusing on gratitude as I drove back over the Crossroads on my way home. I saw him again, dancing gently with his cane, laughing in spite of himself.
Thank you so much, Papa Legba, for hearing me, for welcoming me, and for watching out for me.
Methinks I have a gratitude offering to make.
Seeing humble-seeker’s post about Papa Legba and the car reminded me of my first real ‘Wow’ moment with him.
I had made a little altar for him in my dorm room, one of the shelves above my computer. It wasn’t much, just some old keys that my grandfather hoarded, a little black sauce bowl-turned offering bowl that I’d gotten from Walmart, a corner full of pennies, and a red scarf. (May post pics of it at some point since I’ve taken it down because I moved.) I’d toss some candy or peanuts in the bowl if I was snacking at my desk and didn’t have any plans on offering him anything so he’d do something for me. I decided, when I finally figured out that this was something that I wanted to pursue, that I didn’t want to encroach on our relationship by asking him for favors, even if I did provide him with recompense. It comes across a little like paying someone to do a job for you, and it’s not something I really wanted to do. So, when I put the offering bowl on the shelf, I said ‘I’ll do what I can for you. I’m not asking any favors, just giving you what I can because I want to.’
Anyway, that’s not terribly relevant. I do understand the concept of the offerings giving them the strength/power/cosmic what-have-you to get things done and it’s not like contracting a job or anything. It’s just not exactly something I feel comfortable with just yet.
I keep digressing. Someone make me stop.
So, I went to Walmart one day. I was running low on chocolate and ramen and coffee (like every college student). I did my little get-out-of-the-car routine differently that day. I got a text message or something on the way, so I sat in my car in the parking space and answered it as soon as I turned off my car. I left my keys in the ignition instead of immediately removing them. Then, I crammed my phone in my pocket, swung open and locked my driver’s side door (I drive an old Jeep Cherokee without a remote lock button… It works, but it’s a little inconvenient sometimes), stood up, and closed my door.
With the keys still in the ignition.
I saw them glint in the light, heard them jingle as I slammed my thoroughly locked door. I rested my arm on the top of the car and rested my head on top of it.
I was going to have to call my roommate and ask her to get my spare key (from the corner of my altar, which I was thoroughly peeved about. I didn’t want her having to touch it, it was a sacred space, blah blah blah) and wait… She was in class… My best friend couldn’t get it because she didn’t have a key to my room. I was going to have to wait for Elise to get out of class and hope she had time to bring me the key before she had to get to work-
I felt one of those thoughts in my head that wasn’t my own thought. One of those ‘GodPhone’ sounding ones.
"Check your pocket again."
"I know my keys are in the ignition. I saw them. I heard them."
"Check. Your. Pocket." The voice wasn’t angry. Just talking to me like maybe I didn’t quite realize that I was supposed to, gee, I dunno… LISTEN.
So I did. I kept my eyes closed, head on my arm on the top of my car, and jammed my free hand into my pocket.
And found my keys.
That were locked in my car.
That I saw shine in the Texas sun and heard jingle with the force of my enthusiastic closing (read:SLAMMING) of my door.
In my pocket.
I immediately saw my spare key on the altar back in my room. It just flashed in my head. I gave Papa Legba my spare key, and he got my keys for me.
Granted, this could have all been in my head, but guys, I swear to you, I saw them, I heard them. And yet, there they were.
Needless to say, someone got extra candies when I got back to the dorm. Along with several hundred muttered and whispered ‘Thank you’s.
So, it’s not the flashiest display of divine help or intervention, but it really made me stop and think that maybe, all of the good feelings and the ‘rightness’ of this for me wasn’t just in my head after all. Maybe this was my ‘Start believing’ moment. So, I did.
I’ll probably tell you all about Baron and the coconut next time. That one’s fun too. :)
a key is but a half of a pair; without its lock, it is no more than an ornament, leading to mysteries unbeknownst to the holder.