It started out as an ordinary day of travel to the state capital or so I thought. The temperature was on the mild side for a winter day and I was driving with a dear friend, chatting away. All seemed right with the world on this ordinary day.
Off we went onto the highway, chatting away, until we saw a huge white cloud of smoke rising from the other side of the divider. Stretches of cars were standing still; an endless row of backed up vehicles were silent in the wake of an accident. No car horns were blaring. Multiple fire trucks and police cars flanked the wreck. Nothing could be seen through the billowing clouds of smoke rising into the sky and an unbelievable stench of burning rubber filled the air. Car after car slowed down to gaze on the disaster. Sadness was in my heart. I could not help but think how grateful we were not to be in range of the accident.
Tonight, the accident jarred a similar memory of the last trip to the statewide conference in Albany. Once again my friend and I were minutes away from a horrific accident. Sometimes, there is no reason why accidents happen in broad daylight, even when driving conditions are optimal. Travel in the Long Island/New York City area always seems to be a challenge.
Another memory was jarred as I reflected on the accident. Years ago in college, my friend and I visited her family on Long Island. I remember thinking that there were too many cars on the highway. Little did I know that one day I would move down to Long Island from Central NY and be in the midst of daily crazy driving.
on just an ordinary day,
life is fragile and uncertain.
On just an ordinary day,
my thoughts drift back
to a wreckage, billowing smoke,
and unbelievable stench,
I must remain alert,
mindful, and observant
as I travel through life.
It was just an ordinary day.
I am grateful
for safe passage.
This post marks the 8th post of my Clearing A Path series for the Two Writing Teachers' March SOLSC. At the accident today, the police tried to clear a path for safe passage of the cars witnessing the wreckage. While traveling through life, it is important to remain mindful in order to clear a path for myself and my family.
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