Traffic is one of my greatest pet peeves. I rarely have the patience for it, and will drive an extra 5-10 miles out of my way if it means that I don’t have to sit bumper to bumper like pearls on a string.
But tonight, the glimpse of that sign was a confirmation of life itself, and I caught the metaphor in the flash of a moment.
Our path in life often comes with detours, disruptions, and delays. You may have a master’s degree, but have to work at the mall for a spell. Your huge client order can’t be fulfilled because of a flash blizzard. Your guaranteed and timely Yes suddenly becomes a stiff No. Things go haywire and we want to blame it all on Mercury retrograde.
Sometimes, we can’t just get off at the next exit and drive through downtown to avoid construction, or an accident, or a bottleneck of nosy drivers. Life often requires that we sit like a duck and wait it out, unable to influence the flow or direction of our journey whatsoever.
It can suck for us control freaks.
In the Ifa/Orisha religion, there is an odu (letter/sign of divination) named Osa. Osa, on the short end, translates to Delays & Disruptions; Change. It is representative of the orisha Oya, who is the personification of the tornado. Osa used to be my most LOATHED odu, because it meant that things weren’t going to be easy, nor would they move according to my concept of time.
But in truth, Osa (delays) teaches me the virtue of Patience (one of the traits of Obatala, my primary orisha).
What does this mean for non-orisha devotees? Even delays are purposeful. Even detours help you to get where you need to be, in the end. In the midst of your journey, find the peace of your present. The stillness…that life only requires that you listen to the radio, download information, communicate with others, or be content with silence. You may sit there for 3 hours, or you may get to the front and find that the delay actually wasn’t that bad.
There are no missteps in the Universe.