It was only when I heard the talk back caller announce that she was a white witch that I gave the radio my full attention.
Transfixed, I listened to her sing the praises of her car parking goddess Asphaltia, who never failed to provide her with a parking spot whenever called upon to do so.
The only proviso was that the Benefactress must be thanked. And that the lucky recipient of Her bounty must attribute the procurement of the parking space to Her, and not to Luck. To do otherwise would be considered ungrateful, and the driver an unworthy candidate for future good parking deeds.
The unbridled enthusiasm of the caller transcended the airwaves.
It found its way into this cynical heart and I resolved to give it a try next time I went shopping. And lo! It came to pass. Not just once, but again and again. And never once did I fail to thank Asphaltia for her intervention. Buoyed by my success, I shared the secret with my children.
Their scorn lasted only as long as it took for me to effortlessly find the ensuing four parking spaces, after which time they were converts to the Asphaltia cause. They even tried to stop me from spreading the word in case all the good parking spots went to other Asphaltia-botherers. But like many a zealot before me, I was on a mission and would not be deterred.
I gave the glad tidings to all my friends.
Since then, I have been rewarded with the warm glow of their undying gratitude. I once returned from a trip to Malaysia weighed down with small brass goddesses that could be hung from rear vision mirrors. Everybody wanted one. My own Asphaltia is housed in a tiny glass temple, and hangs proudly from the phone charger in the car.
One day, while stationary at a railway crossing, awaiting the passage of a third train, I decided to impose further on my hardworking deity. If she could control parking spaces, it was possible that her powers extended to public transport. I called upon her to minimise the delay, whereupon not one, but two trains sped through the crossing simultaneously, heading in opposite directions. She had answered my prayers.
Having faith in positive outcomes makes life so much easier.
Call it a simple change in attitude if you will, but the effect on my life has been just as profound as a religious conversion. Since I found Asphaltia, I can say that my faith in her has rarely been misplaced. And the rewards are enormous. Just don’t forget to say thank you.