"Do you see a stop sign anywhere?" she asked.
I looked on all the corners and saw no stop signs. It was the days when not that many people owned cars. "I see nothing," I reported.
"That means, cars do not have to stop for little boys who are stupid and not watching," she said. "A car could run over a stupid little boy, like you, and crush him to death."
"Aren't cars supposed to watch for people?" I thought out loud.
"This is the Bronx. People can drive crazy here. So always have a stop sign in your head when you come to a corner," she counseled me. "Stop and look first. Let cars pass. Then cross the street when it is safe."
Then Maureen, my first theologian, began to teach me. "If you get crushed, you will make Mommy very unhappy. Plus, God might have a plan for you, should you ever grow up."
"You think God has a plan for me?" I asked as I looked up at her. By now we had crossed the street and were walking along.
"Notice that we crossed the street together, right?" she asked. "Yes," I answered. "You waited for me to walk with you. This was the safer way to go, right?" she quizzed me. "Yes, I suppose so," I muttered. "No supposing from you," she shot back. "For the life of me, I cannot think of what plan God wants done by my baby brother," Maureen said looking up into the sky. "But you never know. I think life is like a street corner. You have to stop now and again, to check for danger, otherwise, if you just push on with your plans, you might get crushed," she concluded. I forget now where we were going, but I never forgot her mixim that "life is like a street corner." Stop and check things out. God might have a plan for me. Meditation is my time to check things out. Some people call such prayer 'Checking in," but I like the street corner image my first theologian taught me. God's plan must have been for Maureen to baby-sit me so I could grow up. She was faithful even if I was bratty. God's plans are not always easy or pleasant. Maybe that is why we don't bother to stop and meditate?