Recently, when driving back over the bridge I take to get to my property, on a rainy Friday afternoon, a tool fell out of a truck bed from a pickup driving in the opposite direction. It looked like a hand saw but I can’t say for sure because I only saw it out of the corner of my eye as it hit the pavement and rolled in my direction, hitting what seemed like the rear end of my car with a loud bang.
“Wow! What was that?” I shouted.
I couldn’t stop because the traffic was bumper to bumper in both directions and stopping on a bridge is never a good idea. When it was safe, I pulled over, got out, and inspected the car. A large sized chunk was missing from the left side rear bumper. I felt a heat flush through my body. Crap!
Later, after calling our insurance company, we took the car back to town.
The autobody mechanic shook his head. “Must’ve been a solid piece of steel. You’re lucky it didn’t go through the windshield. Somebody could’ve gotten seriously hurt.”
I’d not thought of that, my anger instantly turning to relief.
Near misses happen all the time. When we were in New Zealand and driving back to Auckland, we took the wrong exit, costing us about 5 minutes. However, not long after, we came upon an 8-car pileup that looked like it had happened just a few minutes before we arrived. Who knows, maybe those 5 minutes saved our lives.
I can think of dozens of instances where I narrowly avoided a disaster. Starting to back up in a crowded parking lot and taking a half second to look in my rearview mirror only to see an elderly woman hunched over on her cane unaware of my car. Rushing back to a coffee shop after a meeting with a friend and seeing my purse still hanging on the back of the chair I sat in hours before. Blowing out a candle I accidentally left burning overnight with only a smidge left before it touched the wood mantlepiece it sat on.
Near misses are like mini miracles. When they happen, I tend to marvel at the serendipity of life, contemplating how lucky I truly am. It makes me appreciate all those things I take for granted, especially the beauty of simply living.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive –to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius
Truly. Enjoy the passage of time.
© 2023. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved