So a funny thing happened this year. I retired. Without a lot of planning, I took the step. Closed a chapter. A big one. And the day I did, little nubs of life sprouted like tiny winglets. Time passed. A little more time. Settling into it, re-learning how to relax. My mother died. A little more time passed. The winglets grew. It’s funny how love for a mother mixed into caring for them, after they are gone, releases you. 

So I sold my car. Bought an electric bike for wandering, and started taking Lyft. So aptly named, I realized early on, because most of the times when I think I need a Lyft, it ends up being not just the ride, but the uplift of meeting an amazing and interesting person.

The young man from Ethiopia might be my favorite. Just graduating law school, he’s headed to Northern Virginia soon to be an immigration lawyer. He told me greeting everyone you meet is a gift from God we are all free to give. 

The woman older than me in her minivan, telling me there were angels with us in the van. And that the only protection she ever needs is Jesus by her side. I tried to convince her Jesus wouldn't mind her packing a little pepper spray, but she said no.

Another young man reciting his poem about domestic abuse, written in first person, a woman’s voice, carrying me on a journey I was honored to travel with him.

I find myself writing about my Lyft drivers. I made that decision, or the decision was made for me, after the very first ride. When the woman told me, without any prompting, that she used to drink too much cognac but switched to smooth bourbon, that she used to go to Babes because she could smoke her clove cigarettes but has a new boyfriend who is homophobic so now she goes to the Forest. 

I may not have angels with me every time I take a Lyft, but there will always be stories, and who knows, stories may be how all angels find their wings.

Richmond, Virginia USA.