On Monday, I woke up to a severe thunderstorm. The meteorologist on TV advised rush hour commuters to hang tight until the storm passed through Hartford…roughly 8:30 a.m. or so. I had no problem with this. A little voice inside my head said, ‘C’mon, it’s only rain, right?’ but still…for whatever reason…something made me hold off going into work. Call it “morning procrastination” or a “gut instinct” (or a combination of the two) but when I finally got in my car and headed north on 91, I was glad I had waited.
There were car crashes on both sides of the highway so I can only assume visibility during the storm had been pretty bad. As I passed a third accident in Springfield, traffic slowly began to pick up its pace again. That’s when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a tall tree fall across three lanes of traffic, landing on the cars just a few feet behind me. It was one of those slow motion moments in life in which I saw the destruction happening and felt weak at the realization that I had somehow narrowly escaped it.
If you have ever experienced moments like this before–as I have–then you may also know what it feels like: that instant rush of adrenaline to the brain, a surge of conflicting emotions: relief (for being okay/alive) and sadness (for those affected), and realizing that a quick scan of your surroundings for evidence of a guardian angel wouldn’t be all that crazy.
As the scene disappeared from my rear view mirror, I realized that I could not change what was behind me. I could only move forward and continue to appreciate the gifts that life gives us with age: awareness, gratitude, and expansion.