A Place For The Future Past


No Small Miracles
January 12, 2007, 5:40 am
Filed under: Community On The Earth, Fun on the Road

Looking back, I think my blue truck was an agent, trying to protect me. It got stuck that morning alongside my snowy driveway, at the beginning of the latest nasty weather — wind, snow, ice, etc. I felt I needed to get into town for some errands and Swash practice (upcoming demo at Rustycon) so I borrowed Em and Red’s truck. I got into town well enough, but the trip home was the adventure. Leaving Seattle at 8:30 pm and headed south, the news reports filled with tales of spinouts, collisions and abandoned cars everywhere — the storm had already passed Seattle and was headed south, with icy temps behind.

About halfway home, right about Fort Lewis, I was travelling about 50 in the far left lane, snow had stopped but the roads were wet. Just as the car in the lane next to me guns up and crosses ahead of me I hit ice, just as I was getting off the gas. I could feel the wheels leave the pavement as we started to spin. I managed to control it long enough to avoid the car in back to the right of me, but lost it soon after, going completely around. I passed back towards the center and into the concrete barrier, punching it with the front, rotating to finally rest — picture this — in the tiny single car-wide left shoulder, almost but not touching the concrete barrier along my right side (I was facing oncoming traffic) the fast lane of oncoming traffic to my immediate left.

For three frozen seconds I watched the oncoming surge of traffic that had been immediately behind me and had surely seen my drama unfolding before them — I could only pray they could avoid me — which they did. Though due to the gentle curve in the freeway the view of the second row of trucks would be blocked until almost too late — who passed without incident after moving back over into the left lane.

The next miracle was that traffic broke for almost a quarter mile (or at least it seemed to me) and I was able to realize that if I stayed where I was I would surely die — it had almost already happened but it didn’t I gunned that puppy and hoping hard I swung out and over the three briefly empty lanes and around to the right shoulder and off the road, before traffic began pouring by again.

Whew. The front lights were busted the right front tire was blown, the fender punched in and the fan blade was rattling. But it was still running, that was something.

I looked around. No one had stopped. Did they even reach for their cell phones and call it in? I went back and secured the truck and headed on foot to the next exit, Fort Lewis. Unfortunately the only exit around with no gas stations or markets.

The next miracle took the form of Sgt Steven G who stopped at the odd sight of a lone woman walking next to the freeway during an ice storm at night and gave me aide. Delivered me all the way home (sixty miles one way) safe and sound. Thank you, Steven, my friends thank you too.

It was not luck. Luck is once or twice, finding a dollar bill on the ground. I was shielded. Em thinks it’s this place, Dryad’s Rest, that has adopted us, more than that — has laid claim to us. We were reminded (and not for the first time) to next time, LISTEN to the land and not try to leave its warm folds, to go out into the treacherous world. OOOkayyy

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