Finding Money

A few weeks ago, while at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, I was walking on one of the labyrinths. It was a peaceful and also exciting experience to reach the center and then begin to trace my way out. On one of the outer rings, a beautiful sunset was illuminating the rocky and dry terrain and so I stopped to reach for my BlackBerry and take a picture. I wanted to capture the sight right there at that moment. Dry heat makes for really crispy air and lovely photos. Little did I know that as I was taking the BB out of my pocket, two $20 bills would slip out without me noticing until hours later.
Maybe someone else needed those $40, I said to myself later that night and carried on.
Fast forward to June 18th in downtown Cincinnati, a very humid and hot afternoon in Cinci that had me hoping for 30-degree weather. I’m heading toward the Cincinnatian Hotel to meet with a friend for happy hour when I just glance to the side of the sidewalk and there’s a little bundle of unattended money. $7 to be exact. Half a block away I order a $5 martini and with a $2 tip, the outing cost me nothing. Great conversation, good drink, nice surprise. Only down by $33, I thought. And then…
Yesterday, walking the Shorewood streets on a scorchingly hot noon time, I found an unattended $10 bill. Humid and exceedingly hot weather can make me hallucinate, but the bill was real. Just like with the $7 in Cincinnati, there’s the 2-second hesitation, the look around to see if anyone’s there, and the what if it’s a candid-camera scenario. And just like in Cincinnati, I picked it up and put it in my pocket.
For the $7, I did the usual, the wondering: did someone need this for a taxi, to buy milk and apples? By the time I got to the $10 the wondering led to a realization of something I had read before but now it really clicked: money is energy. It is spent, sometimes it is lost, sometimes it is gained. It needs to flow; it’s in its nature. It can be found in unexpected places, and we cannot–or should not–obsess about it.
It is important, brings us joy, but we should not be bound to it–kind of like sex. It is never bound to us. Who knows where those two $20s ended up next: books? booze? bananas?
Where might they end up next? In New York City? At a gas station?
I could say now I’m just down by $23, but reaching the realization of those three simple words–money is energy–has its own labyrinthic worth.
Cheers! And may there always be abundance in our lives.

UPDATE: 6/23/12 Well, guess what? Today I found a $5 walking again in Shorewood. This should prove once and for all that walking rules!

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