by Wendy Burwell
‘The Winds of Grace are always blowing but you have to raise the sail’………Ram Krishna
It’s mid-afternoon on a bright, sunny summer’s day. I’m
driving the shiny new, sporty red car of my friend……he’s
sitting next to me, trusting me……. and the back seat is
filled with other friends all doing the same. We are in
the midst of spending days together celebrating the joys
of Community, Dancing, Universal Peace and life on the
planet in general. We are filled with Light.
We’re traveling outside our bubble to one of the area’s
most beautiful gorges……or so we’ve been told. We’re
excited and happy to see it and to go swimming and cool
off. We are engaged in carefree chatter and even
singing at times as we go.
We’re joyously traveling up and down the beautiful hills
around Ithaca New York full speed ahead on a simple,
old-time divided highway. I’m carefully watching the
traffic; after all my reputation as a great driver is really
on the line here – if only in my own mind. As we descend
one large hillside, bright brake lights of a tractor trailer
appear in front of us – so I too start to brake but within
a split second I see the cab and trailer start to go in
opposite directions: Without a doubt: this truck is
starting to jack knife!
Time stands still and everyone in the car knows….. we all
know in an instant, that we won’t be able to stop in time
to avoid the catastrophe that is unfolding in front of us –
despite reasonable driving…..despite the fact that my
foot is already on the brake pedal – hard. We find
ourselves bracing for the worst in our last split seconds.
And in less than a breath it’s all over! We see a deer
leave the road, run back into the woods and disappear.
The tractor trailer less than a few car lengths in front of
us, no longer shining bright lights in our faces or swerving
out of control. Instead it’s once again heading straight
down the road as if nothing has happened.
We take a collective deep breath. We have all been
spared……Grace has been bestowed on us in an instant and
yet we are left shaken and spent, with the knowledge of
what almost happened.
Wendy Burwell is an aspiring writer, currently focused on the memoir and has been living in the South Wedge for 25+ years.