from my the house across the street

live, love, laugh, and remember to play everyday!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sobering Thoughts

Many times, after being delayed, or taking a wrong turn, I think about what the delay may have saved me from. If I had been on time, if I wouldn't have had to backtrack, maybe I'd have been at the place on the highway where a driver crossed the center line. Maybe the delay somehow saved me from something much worse than being late.
Yesterday, I was 15 minutes late leaving the office. I stayed at a home visit 20 to 30 minutes longer than I had planned. When I was finally nearing home, I was delayed yet again: all four lanes of the highway were closed, all I could see ahead in the dusk were the flashing lights of countless emergency vehicles. I waited in my car, in a long line of other cars, and watched while the helicopter landed to airlift someone. After a quarter hour of sitting and waiting, the cars ahead began to move slowly. Some were turning around to go back to the last exit, others---like me---chose to take the county blacktop that twisted and turned and put me back on the four-lane a few miles past the accident.
I use the word accident, but I don't think that's quite right. When I think accident, I think of bumps and bruises, scratches and scrapes. This was much more.............I had quick glimpses of ripped and twisted metal, things that were crushed and smashed until they were nearly unrecognizable. At least two vehicles appeared to have been flung upon the landscape, maybe more. It was hard to tell in the dimming light. And I didn't want to stop and gawk, didn't want to add my car to the many that were stopped on the side road.
Later, it occurred to me that cars must have been crashing into each other about 20 to 30 minutes before I got there. Had I not spent extra time at the home visit, being escorted by a friendly 10 year old to all his favorite places in his magical world, my car could easily have been pitched and flung into the bean fields along with the others. Or maybe not.
Many people spend time thinking about the different things they might have done, the things they shouldn't have done, believing they would have created a much better outcome. I say you can't know for sure. Maybe the outcome would have been far worse. Maybe it would have been the same. No way to know. Just as there is no way to know where I'd have been at the moment cars began crashing had I jumped in the car and sped away rather than enjoying the extra time connecting with that child.
I suppose I like to think that the choices I made yesterday were not made randomly. I like to believe, I need to believe, that my choices affect outcome. I need to believe that, what often appears to be a mistake, a wrong turn, a delay, is somehow positive in the end. Perhaps, all along, I was exactly where I needed to be, doing exactly what I needed to do, at each moment.


Blogger Artist in Progress said...

Well said, I am glad you are safe.

Carol M

7:00 PM  
Anonymous nancy said...

Ellen this was very well written; only a second can make a life changing experience.

It goes both ways, if I'd be a moment earlier I could have seen something or someone I would like to have crossed paths with.

But, from my own experience and those I have heard of, It is the workings of a Higher Being that causes us to be away from the harm. I don't know how, but God is moving things to and fro to keep us from being in trouble.

There have been so many deadly and serious accidents on the highways lately. I really don't enjoy driving at all. I cringe each time I see a car weave in and out of traffic.

Happy that you were where you needed to be.

8:11 PM  
Blogger firstborn studio / denise lombardozzi said...

my o my ellen.
we think so much alike...i was wondering where my mind went...YOU have it!

all i know is that there is someone way bigger than us who is in charge of the "show" and like nancy said..keeping us from harm.....OR moving us in the direction which will take us out of this world...the mind boggles{remember,i want mine back?!}

so so glad you were spared,we need you here with us!!!!

: )

8:26 AM  
Blogger ncurryartiste said...

I enjoyed meeting you last night and you, indeed, are a wonderful descriptive writer. Kudos!!!!


8:52 AM  

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