Saturday, March 22, 2014

It wasn't my time

Hello, old friend.

Here's what brought me back to this space...


She was taking too long. I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and glanced at the time. There was no one in line, just me, standing at the counter waiting. I only had so many minutes to spare. Staring down a considerable commute with the clock ticking away, all this woman had to do was hand me a coffee.


I headed on my way, with only so many minutes to spare. Precious minutes. Seconds. A moment. All in front of me, so many behind. So many taken for granted rather than savored. So many wasted. They are all intertwined, connected, stringing one moment to the next and to the next, until there are no more seconds to spare.

My coffee in my left hand, my right hand on the wheel. Music playing, the window down. And then, before my eyes, an explosion of twisting metal and spraying glass unfolded. The mass rolled in the lane in front of me, likely providing the final moment for the unfortunate soul behind that wheel.

As the wreckage tumbled rapidly closer, I veered to my left, narrowly escaping the path of the disintegrating car. Tires screeched, the road roared and I corrected my own path sharply back to the right to avoid the side wall. I glanced in my mirror and saw the mess continue behind me.

My heart raced and my hands shook.

The fragility of life and its connections were thrown in my face. It took a few extra seconds to get that cup of coffee in my hand, the one I somehow did not spill as I sidestepped my final seconds. What if the woman behind the counter had moved a few seconds faster? What if the morning had gone slightly different for the lives in the two cars in front of me?

We don't have minutes to spare. We are spared minutes.

I called my family and told them I loved them. It created a few laughs, but I hugged a handful of people once I arrived at my destination. I went about my work day, soaking in the sun, watching a baseball game and then writing about the news of the day. I savored every second of it. Every second. Each one a gift.

Now, I'm back here, sharing this with you.

Thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it didn't cause you any delays.