A Christmas Eve Surprise

Just before leaving for work at 2 PM, I had a talk with my Inner Self (that magical “inner” part of us that literally transforms the energy of our thoughts and emotions into reality, the Genie in our bottle). I asked to have a great time at work (I’m a bus driver for Sonoma County Transit), since it was Christmas Eve and I had to work. 

A Christmas Eve Surprise

By Roger A. “Pete” Peterson

The secrets of the universe are hidden in the details of our experience. – Pete



Who are we?

12/24/1992 Christmas Eve

What a great day it was turning out to be! I finished my letter to Evan (my son at Army boot camp in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri), which described my dream about him and the four snakes, and mailed it off along with two books, Seth Speaks, The Eternal Validity of the Soul and The Nature of Personal Reality. (Both books were channeled by Seth through Jane Roberts and recorded by her husband, Robert F. Butts.) 

Just before leaving for work at 2 PM, I had a talk with my Inner Self (that magical “inner” part of us that literally transforms the energy of our thoughts and emotions into reality, the Genie in our bottle). I asked to have a great time at work (I’m a bus driver for Sonoma County Transit), since it was Christmas Eve and I had to work.

Things got interesting right off the bat. My first bus run of the day was a route 30 from Coddingtown in Santa Rosa to Sonoma Plaza in the town of Sonoma. As I approached Spring Lake Village, a retirement and health care facility on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, a police car with its lights flashing came into view behind me. When I turned into Spring Lake Village, the police car followed me and as I completed my turnaround at the entrance of the facility, he signaled me to stop with a wave of his hand. I stopped and waited for him as he stepped out of his car and escorted a young man in his early twenties, carrying a backpack over to the bus. The policeman told me the man had been involved in a dispute with a man and woman and needed a ride back to Sonoma where he lived. The policeman also told me the man had no money. After getting permission from the Dispatch Office at the bus company, I said sure and waited for the man to climb the stairs and walk to the back of the bus. The policeman thanked me and walked back to his car.

As we turned out of Spring Lake Village, raised, agitated voices began to emanate from the rear of the bus. Flicking several quick glances into the rearview mirror, I saw a young man nervously move across the isle from our newest passenger. He sat on the edge of his seat close to another man. Then I saw why the two men were nervous. The passenger who had just gotten on the bus was holding a large, shiny new butcher knife in his right hand and threatening them. When he saw me looking back at him, he raised the knife higher and yelled for me to stop the bus and let him off. To prevent any violence on the bus, I quickly pulled over to the side of the road and pushed the control to open the rear door. After jumping off the bus, the young man turned and started running back towards Santa Rosa, waving the butcher knife high above his head. Relieved, I called the Dispatch office at the bus company and brought them up to date on the situation. I expect the same cop who dropped him off would be picking him up down the road apiece.

After the man with the butcher knife was off the bus, one of the men who had been sitting in the middle of the action walked forward and sat across the isle from me. He told me that the guy who just got off the bus left his backpack behind. I thanked him for the information, smiled, and asked him what happened. He told me he wasn’t sure what set the guy off but, as soon as he sat down, he pulled the butcher knife out of his backpack, scaring everyone in the rear of the bus, especially the young guy he sat next to.

To relieve our tension we began joking about how long it would take the cops to catch him. Then he got serious and told me that a year earlier he had been shot  in the stomach by a policeman while he was high on drugs and alcohol and holding a gun to his head, threatening to commit suicide. Wow, I said, shooting someone in the stomach is dangerous because of all the organs and the danger of sepsis or bacterial infection! I asked him, Why didn’t the cop shoot you in the arm or leg if he wanted to prevent you from committing suicide? He couldn’t say and went on to talk about how, when he was in the hospital, he decided he wanted to live.

When his doctor told him healing from a stomach wound was a slow process, he decided to experiment with his healing abilities, to see how fast he could heal himself by force of will and a desire to be well. Heck, he thought, “I don’t have much else to do while I’m here in the hospital.” To his delight and the hospital’s surprise, his wound healed faster than anyone expected. We talked more about how we create our reality and before he got off the bus, I handed him a copy of The Nature of Personal Reality, a Seth Book by Jane Roberts and Robert Butts that talks about the hidden powers within us that can help us heal and change our lives for the better. Before we knew it, we had arrived at Sonoma Plaza and he had to get off the bus. What a great discussion!

From Sonoma, I drive west to Petaluma at the south end of Sonoma County. At Seven Flags, a mobile home park on the western edge of Sonoma, I picked up a young couple headed to a Christmas Eve celebration at the home of relatives in Petaluma. They were very excited and we had a great conversation on the trip to 4th and C Street in Petaluma. From 4th and C, I turn around and head back to Sonoma. Several passengers got on my bus. Again, because it was Christmas Eve, everyone is jolly and our conversation is full of magic, excitement and joy.

At Sonoma Plaza, several local passengers got on the bus and one older man who lives on the east side of Santa Rosa. He’s ridden my bus several times and, from past experience, I’ve learned not to talk politics and philosophy with him. He’s very conservative and I’m very liberal. As usual, he sits across from me and starts a conversation by pointing to a vintage car nearby. He tells me he’s in the process of restoring an old Model A Ford.  When the last local passenger gets off the bus in Boyes Springs, leaving the both of us alone, he asks if he can play his Mandolin. I don’t know how well he can play but what the heck, it’s Christmas Eve and we’re all alone, so I say, sure! As he tunes his instrument, he tells me most of the songs he plays are written by him.

Before I know it, he’s playing one rousing tune after another. His music has a Cajun flavor that has me stomping my free foot and bobbing my head and shoulders back and forth in tune with the music. Wow, what a great Christmas Eve, I think to myself, it couldn’t be any better if I paid a million bucks for it. And to top it off, I’m getting paid for it!

From Santa Rosa, I deadhead “Out of Service” to Petaluma for dinner and a layover before completing my last run back to Santa Rosa. When I pull into the stop, a small group of people are waiting to get on my bus, even though my head sign says “Out of Service”. As they approach the door, recognition sets in. It’s Lou, his wife Gloria, daughter Vicki and another daughter whose name I forget by the time I reach home and start recording my notes after work. They brought dinner with them to share with me. Isn’t that great? I’m totally surprised and pleased! They have hot wings, Swedish meat balls, salad and pizza. What a feast and what a great conversation we share as we eat dinner together!

These folks have ridden my bus several times in the past, and even though we didn’t know each other very well, they whole family came to the bus stop with food for me and William D., another driver they like really well. I’m overwhelmed with the richness of this evening. It’s unbelievable that all these things could happen in one night, Christmas Eve or not. After Lou and his family leave, William and I continue our conversation. Besides being a bus driver, William is an artist with a degree in art from Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park. He told me his family was moving into a new house and they had bought an ’87 Ford Bronco, which was much better than the car they had been driving. Just before he left, I asked him with what intent he approaches his art? I had been to his house and one of his art shows so I was familiar with his style of art. At his art show I gave him my impressions as they occurred. I put words to things I saw in his art that he knew intuitively but hadn’t been able to express verbally. As I asked him about his approach to art now, he seemed very pleased.

On the trip back to Santa Rosa, I picked up one passenger. He was a frizzy haired homeless guy who spent most of his time picking up trash on the side of the road. Most of the other drivers were afraid of him because he was psychotic, unpredictable and often didn’t have any money. If you challenged him he could become very belligerent. More than once I’ve heard other drivers call Dispatch to have cops remove him from their bus. I liked him and often talked to him. To cover his bus fair he would often stick a five, ten or twenty dollar bill into the fare box and let me keep track of his prepaid rides after that. This method worked fine for me.

Tonight, we got personal. He was lucid and in a good mood and I wanted to know more about him. As our conversation unfolded, I learned he had been a lawyer who had “fled the Wall Street scene.” It turns out Wall Street wasn’t the only source of his disturbance, he had a problem relating to women as well and has had more than one restraining order issued against him in the past. He told me he liked the stories I told him about some of the dreams and extraordinary waking experiences I’ve had. And more than once we talked about the nature of consciousness and our connection to All That Is. In parting, he also told me he was a student of Colonial History.

In the driver’s room back at the bus yard, I talked with two other drivers before heading home for the night. One driver excitedly told me he had bought his wife a new Mac computer “with the works.” The other driver was William D. He needed a ride to the nearby Denny’s restaurant to pick up his car. What an extraordinary day! It was so full of great and unusual experiences, I wrote them down as soon as I got home, something I very seldom do because of the time and effort involved.  Thank you, Inner Self, I hope you enjoyed the richness of this day as much as I did!

Value of an Idea


We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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