Musings About Energy of All Sorts


“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

Do you notice, do you get a feel for the swirling energy around you? Good? Bad? Neutral?

Do you seek spaces where the energy is good, and avoid places that feel out of synch?

While on this trip, I landed in a place that didn’t feel like a good match for me. The destination required last-minute planning, and the types of places I usually stay were booked. I stayed in a hotel that I normally would not have chosen. It was only for one night. Not a big deal.

And still, I felt out-of-place. I slept poorly. I didn’t feel grounded. Or perhaps it was the lack of positive energy, or too much free-floating, unattached energy.

Once I’d gotten settled in my room, I went looking for something to see or do, hoping to make a connection of some sort. I followed a partially hidden sign which directed me to “Road of Little Motels”. It sounded historic, interesting. But either I took a wrong turn, or the little motels now only exist in the memory of the townspeople.

I found nothing that resembled a quaint street of little motels. Instead I found winding roads and crowded city lots, yards with small houses surrounded by chain link fences and filled with large toys — pontoon boats, speedboats, ATVs, snowmobiles, super long RVs.

The next morning I looked for a main street breakfast spot, a mom and pop sort of place. Eventually I found a coffee shop on the edge of town.

When I spoke to the hostess, she said there were available tables, but the kitchen was behind and it would be a 30 minute wait for food. I was okay with that. I had a cup of coffee and my book.

But I was soon aware of the conversations at the surrounding tables.

I overheard angry, impatient conversations: “You people don’t know how to (fill in the blank)” or “You don’t have WIFI? I need to get my emails,” or “This food isn’t like the picture on the menu, there are bananas in the picture.”

There were eight tables with groups of diners near me. Not a single person was smiling. One couple was talking quietly, otherwise people stared vacantly or complained in loud voices.

I tried an experiment. I caught a person’s gaze, then nodded and smiled. Of the six people who made eye contact – most avoided me – only one returned my smile.

This is a resort sort of place. Maybe it is just too busy, too hurried and crowded for me. But none of these people look like they are enjoying themselves. They come to . . . relax? Have fun? Get away from their regular routine?

I watch the waiter. He is trying his hardest. He apologizes for a mistaken item – not crispy enough bacon – and says he will be happy to make things right. He keeps the coffee cups filled. He fields requests with kind words and action. He hustles back and forth from the kitchen.

I think to myself that people have lost the ability to slow down.

The waiter brings my last coffee refill and the check. Then he says, “Thanks so much for your patience. You’ve been great.”

I was surprised, actually. “No problem. You were really busy.”

“Yeah. One of the cooks, his brother died. Funeral’s today, so some of the kitchen guys took the morning off. Thanks, again.”

We never do know what’s going on in other people’s lives, do we?

Maybe the people who come for a vacation have more at stake than just relaxing or having a good time. Maybe the people with the yards full of expensive toys are searching for happiness, and have found nothing resembling it. And maybe the kitchen staff is behind on the breakfast orders for an unusual reason.

Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato

The waiter shrugs, then smiles. And the energy shifts.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Well told, Bo. 🙂

  2. Too many times have found myself in this situation. Sometimes a smile and kind ear can turn it around.

  3. Gandalf says:

    Great message. Great reminder.

  4. Beautiful piece, Bo. Hang in there.

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