The Wavy Commute

In reading a recent article from Sr. Ilia Delio about the recent discovery of gravitational waves, she offered what I thought was an invaluable insight for commuters:

The discovery of gravitational waves is truly awesome. The fabric of the universe is like a trampoline that can stretch or shrink due to massive objects like black holes colliding or like a mattress shaking when a sleeper rolls over, producing ripples of gravity or gravitational waves. This is no static, mechanistic universe; rather, our universe is a mysterious ocean of energy and matter in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic, able to stretch, shrink and jiggle.

Allow me to explain.

The commute can often seem mechanistic: If I depart by such-and-such-time and take this particular route, I will arrive at my destination on time. This can be thought of the Commuter's Law of Inertia.

But, what if this mechanistic sense of the commute isn't correct? What if there are ripples in space-time of the commute?

What might these ripples be? These waves are caused by disturbances to my routine. Maybe I leave a little bit later because I want to give an extra hug and kiss to my wife. Maybe I pause for a moment to breathe in the first warm scent of spring. Maybe I give up my seat on the train to someone else or I miss the train because I took a few minutes to chat with someone who was homeless as I handed him the last few coins I had in my pocket.

Whatever their cause, it is clear what these wave are: simple acts of love, kindness, and compassion. These waves make the commute more than just a journey from point A to B; rather, these waves make up the essence of the commute: an encounter with other people and sharing in their joys and sorrows.

And how do we detect these waves? By slowing down and listening with a loving and kind heart. We detect these waves with the simple acts of awareness and presence.

Then we will see how beautiful and mysterious the commute can be.