3 November ... My house is quiet except for the train howling through town. The engineer is all over that horn. It's rush hour here ... and the combination of college students rushing to class, people rushing to work, and freight trains chugging the line between residential and everything other then residential ... very frequently a car gets hit on the tracks in this town. And a life ends ... and the train will move very slowly, balefully whistling sorrow ... and days will roll by with the boxcars until the day that the train begins to move faster and faster and everyone forgets until they remember again.
I don't have to cross the tracks during the morning rush. My one drive takes me out of my driveway, right, left, left loop drop off, right, right, left, through a traffic calming circle and back in to my driveway. This morning I sat in the jeep for a minute after I turned the ignition off. Less then a mile round trip. Someone ... in a hurry ... almost T-boned me today. It probably would have killed me. Maybe he didn't see my little black jeep. He was attempting to accelerate through a break in traffic crossing over a lane to turn into the lane I was using. I could think that excellent reflexes and well maintained brakes saved my life this morning. I maneuvered over to a stop and saw on coming traffic slam on their brakes to avoid the guy ... He might also have been hit right in the door because he stopped sprawled out in the lane to avoid hitting me. One tiny little miscalulation or miscue ... Could have been bad for someone. My morning coffee is suddenly acidic in my tummy.
I don't know why, but death has been on my mind lately. Not exactly my own death, but death in general. And life. I think about how truly precious life is. I wonder if the pace we run at robs us of the sheer joy available in the simplest of things. I'm not afraid to die. I'm actually pretty curious about what comes next. But, I sure hope I don't have to give my life to someone who is rushing through theirs. I truly wish it were possible to tell everyone who I care for ... Wouldn't it be nice if life let you say what you would if you knew it was the last chance to say anything?
I'm reading a chapter in The Happiness Hypothesis titled Divinity with or without God. the author has stated that he is a "Jewish atheist". It was nice of him to share what might be his bias ... or maybe his motivation for spending his life developing this research. I have enjoyed this book very much ... published in 2006, I enjoy thinking about what he might have published since. I've read and thought about many of the works he has drawn on. Forty pages to go ... what will his conclusions be I wonder. His intellectual journey is not dissimilar from my own, but I think we see a very different light at the end of our private tunnels.
So ... today. I am thankful for the smell of my favorite shampoo in my hair ... I'm going to leave my hair down today and enjoy that Aveda genius. I'm going to tidy up my house and maybe work on that burlap lamp shade ... it's hand stitched and looking good. I am thankful for my peaceful home. I'll finish the book today ... reading it will be my treat for mopping all the floors in the house and/or running the vacumn. It's a good day to be alive. I am thankful for the gift of that ... and the opportunity to make so many of the choices about how it will be spent. Choice is a luxury.
... and to those conversations which life has interrupted if I never get a chance to say ... I would say this ... Thank you for helping me learn about love.