There was no way to avoid it, and I later thanked my angels for my being 100% attentive and immediately responsive. I did not panic. Time slowed down, I saw it all happening as it happened and responded perfectly, although later I could not recall where exactly I hit her car.
Had I been in the least bit distracted and not slammed on the brake immediately upon seeing her stupidly (and I do not often use that judgmental and harsh word) pull out 100 yards in front of me, insanely trying to shoot across the road when it was obvious that there was absolutely no way to do so, then at my traveling 60 miles per hour we would both now be dead or seriously injured. And all that that means. Everything would have changed for us and those around us in a second.
Literally one second delay on my part would have changed everything. How many times have I glanced at someone sitting beside me, or down at the controls, or at a coffee cup or phone? If there had been just that one second of distraction, everything would have changed.
"Are you okay?" I ask, eyeing this skinny, frantic young girl, as she got out of the car. "I am running really late for work, that's why I was rushing" she said in breathless explanation and in my mind I wondered if getting there on time was worth dying for? Perhaps I should have said it out loud, but I was not in the mood to scold. That is not my way.
I looked past the sleeves of tattoos and the name of the local brewery on the black t shirt she was wearing, obviously where she was headed to work, a few miles away. I was less than a mile from my house. In no rush. Having finished work and a Starbucks on the way home. They say that most accidents occur close to home. I don't know if that is still true, but I've always been extra careful close to home because of it.
"I really have to get to work," she pleaded with me once more to let her go to work and not call the police and I immediately relented. I had walked around my car to see the damage and a lady offering to be a witness had pulled in behind us. I could tell by the young girl's anxiety, her serious beater of a car and overall look that it was very likely that she could not lose this job and make her rent. This may sound judgmental, but it is simple observation and total understanding. I have been there. I know this girl well. This girl was me.
This morning I see that her license that I took a picture of has been expired for 6 months, and that means there is probably no insurance. I have $4000 worth of damage to my Lexus or so, and everything on my body hurts, despite the ibuprofen, hour soak in an epsom salt bath and rubdown with healing ointment last night. Of course I should have had the police come.
I has asked the girl before letting her leave, "Do we both agree this is your fault?" She answered "Yes, I was rushing." The words repeating themselves again. I told her I'd find out how much it costs to fix the car and be in touch prior to insurance, she asked for that. "Insurance costs more." I would like to say now that I was not thinking intelligently, but even in that moment, my concern was for her, and to me that has a kind of intelligence that I am okay with.
The girl pulled away and I walked back to speak with the witness. She seemed a little awed by everything and said to me, "You did everything you could." She and I both knew how close it was to something really serious. We are both old enough to have that understanding. I took her information down, hands shaking now, and thanked her.
This morning, of course, I know that I probably should have called the police. Why didn't I? Because I knew that this girl would likely lose her license, her job, her place to live, etc. I knew her struggle to just exist. I have been down that road. I know that place. It sucks. I don't want to send someone there, where the little you have is suddenly gone. But, she could have killed you both. Yes, yes, she could have. Or, you could have. Compassion comes from knowing.
Distraction comes in all forms, but worse than anything in rushing. When you rush, you lose everything. You lose the moment, and what else is there? And, have you ever thought of how much time you waste, picking up after things that have gone wrong from all that rushing?
I stopped rushing about a year ago, and it has changed my life for the better. More than anything else I have ever stopped doing, because so much of what I'd done that was harmful in word or deed or thought is preceded by a rush of some sort. Think on this.
Last night, I got home and ran a very hot bath. As I soaked, sipping tea, gingerly moving different parts of me in front of the jacuzzi jets, the shaking subsided and as I calmed down and quieted, I had a very profound realization. A realization I've had in different forms this past year, however not so powerful as last night.
I realized that there is not one thing in my life that I would change at this time. I have created a life that I truly love and I feel so content, happy and blessed. I spend nearly all my days doing what I love and spend time with people I love and am a benefit to others. I do not hold negative emotions and I do hold space for others to heal. I live in a beautiful home and eat nourishing foods (and perhaps a little too much sugar, however perfection is not contentment nor even reality!) and have loved ones around me.
I hike and dance and play like a child. I think and work with the creativity of a child and responsibility and depth of an experienced adult. I pay my bills and help others with theirs, as far as I can. I am generous and kind and loving and responsible and despite this accounting, humble. It is a healthy pride to acknowledge how far you've come. All this I dwelled on as I soaked in my beautiful tub until the water began to cool. Not much later I began to cry.
I cried for that girl. For myself as that girl. I do not know how I got through all those years, those years that in some ways have so recently ended, and I could not do it again. I had this overwhelming desire well up last night to do all I can to successfully finish the lessons of this lifetime, so I would not have to repeat them in the next. I just don't want to go through it again.
I have worked so hard and let go so much to be exactly where I am. So far from where I was, when I was that frantic young girl. I was her for decades. And now, I am in this place of beauty and peace and contentment and I thank my angels and guardians and all those that have helped along the way. I thank myself, for always rising from the falls. For always rising.
Love and Light,