Have you ever had an experience where you thought you would not have another moment? I had one today.
Behind my local shopping centre is a narrow lane where two cars have to drive slowly to pass each other. This lane also links up with the main road and occasionally, impatient drivers go this way to avoid a set of lights. Inconsiderate as they are, they speed down this lane, just to save those all-important three and a half seconds.
It is the route I usually take when leaving the centre and, of course, I am very cautious.
Today, when I came around the corner, entering the lane, a voice inside me cautioned me to take particular care. A car followed me closed up, intimidating me, urging me to hurry. I remained cautious and conscious.
When I approached the end of the lane where it enters into another back street, an old abused big building site dump truck came hurtling around the corner, cutting it, so it hit the cornerstone on my side of the road.
With a big rumble, somewhat losing control the truck veered to the other side of the road, hitting the kerb there and thundering dashed past me, the massive tyres and cabin towered above me, missing me by half a metre.
If I had been there, just half a second earlier, you would not read this story.
I drove around the corner and stopped the car at the kerb; the car following behind me roared past, entirely ignorant of what had just happened. He must have seen it; he almost ran into me when I slammed on the brakes. But again, different people perceive same circumstances differently.
For how long I stayed there, I have no recollection.
Still quite numbed out I arrived home, staggered up the three flights of stairs and straight to the toilet, an intense bout of diarrhoea. I lay down and was asleep, immediately, out like a light.
In my dream, she called me. She listened, and I felt her care. She said: “Nothing of the event was of your doing. It shows my presence. It is not your time, yet.”
Shortly after, I woke up and my thoughts continued: why had I arrived at this corner not a second earlier but later? And therefore being still alive and not dead a is there some rationality behind it all? Yes, one could shrug it off with the word coincidence, but I do not believe in it.
I reasoned, I must still be needed and had yet to complete some task. But what could be this be and make it matter? Why could not someone else have done it? Why must it specifically be me?
Was there anything I have been putting off? Is there something not just nagging me, but something, my angel considered worthy enough to be done to keep me alive? Something specific, only I could fulfil but no one else? It must be something where through circumstances I would be in a unique position. But nothing came to mind.
To intensify my thinking process, I asked myself this cutting question. What would I have wanted to use a moment for if there would be only one more moment left? In my last moment, the one before there were no more moments?
Sure, there are my family and friends, would I want to express my love and caring for them more than I already do? Is this action significant enough, for me I to be kept alive?
For quite some time I wanted to leave Brisbane for a better place to live. But if I don’t move away, what would it matter to me or anyone else? Are there any actions of mine significant enough to matter to anyone, including myself? And on a bigger scale, outside my circle of friends, what does the life and actions of an individual matter on a world scale? Yes, there is a handful of beings…
Maybe, my angel thought, I would deserve to live longer the life I live? A life, simple but content; sometimes I am happy and sometimes a bit depressed, but over all, life is kind, definitely above mediocrity. I have my daughter and her family, and a few close friends who add joy to my life and I consider myself lucky.
Is it as good as it gets? It’s okay with me, and I would not complain about a few years more of this life.
Still, something inside me wants to know, is curious about what this all-important thing is, I need to accomplish, and needs to be done by me and not anyone else? No idea.
But as always, I will continue keeping my eyes and mind open, especially for those coincidences when something unexpected happens and offers an opening or a direction.
Next morning, yesterday, all felt unreal. Today, it seems, life just picked up its usual path and continues as if nothing had happened. Nothing has changed, no earth-shattering experience provided any enlightenment.
Or, maybe, what happened yesterday had been this shattering experience, but was there any enlightenment? Have I missed something? Had it all been for nothing?
Later in the day, I showed a friend the location of the near end of my life. There were strong. black tyre marks on the cornerstone and the grass on the footpath on the other side had been ripped up. Evidence, proving it all had not just happened in my imagination.
Is there a process taking place in the mind with the effect of levelling out the impact of such intense experiences and cause them to fade quickly, enabling us to continue life without many worries, permitting us to remain in the comfort of our habitual, unconscious life?
Maybe, I ask my guardian angel, s/he must know; perhaps s/he will answer. And if not, life will continue, even if I don’t know what the point of all this was and whether the experience had a lasting impact on me or not.
20 January 2011
I read this story today, and a thought struck me. It was triggered by the question I asked: “What could the task be, only I can fulfil and no one else?” The answer popped up instantly: “Change myself!” This answer may have lain dormant for some time. Presently, I am chewing on this question, no doubt it will occupy me a bit longer before a reply arrives.
1 September 2016
This story touched me again. Much in my life has changed, more than I could ever have expected… but, this is nothing new. I have still no idea, why my guardian angel came to rescue. Nothing significant to others or the world has happened, nothing demanded me, particularly, as far as I can see. But, this does not mean much either. Just because I can’t see it does not negate its existence.
Yes, the event has a lasting impact. I still remember the moment, almost every time when I come around this corner. Small suburban houses have given way to six and eight-storey blocks of units. The traffic has increased in this little lane, slowing it down, so it does not make sense to take it as a shortcut.
“Change myself?” There was no need. There was nothing to do; I changed incredibly, because of altered life circumstances. I have achieved a higher age.