Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Going to the Library

Zen Master, Zen Mum and I were going to the library yesterday. 

It was a lovely Saturday morning.  I was driving, Zen Master laughing from the passenger seat and Zen Mum chit-chattering from the back behind him.  The sky was overcast with gray clouds, but bits and pieces of clear blue sky were peeking through every now and then.

If it wasn’t for the strong cold wind, it would have been a much lovelier morning.

We were driving on a local road, meandering through our neighborhood, our supermarket, the dry cleaners from which we had just dropped off some ripe clothes that needed cleaning.

And I didn’t see that car until it was almost on top of us.

It came out of nowhere, from our right. 

You know how they say that everything just slows down until the moment of impact? 

Well, I can vouch that this certainly happens.

When that car came at us from our right, it was heading straight for Zen Master.  I saw in that one moment of clarity that it was going to hit our car, smashing into my father.  I heard his bellows of alarm, Zen Mum’s shouts of surprise.  We were going to get hit.

Until my left hand turned my steering wheel to the left, swerving us around and away from that car. 

From that moment of impact.

I had crossed the median strip on that one-way local street, and there were no oncoming cars in that lane in that moment.  And as soon as I had crossed it, I went right back into our lane and slammed to a complete stop.

I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that car having also stopped some distance behind us.  They were looking at us, stunned and shocked as we were. 

What did I feel at that moment?  My hands trembling on the steering wheel. 

What did I hear at that moment?  No terrifying sounds of a car crash.  No heart-wrenching sounds of pain from my father and mother.

What did I think at that moment?  I looked up at the clear blue sky and thanked God.

Then the light turned green in front of us, and I slowly continued on our way to the library.

God…Guan Yin…

I thank you for that one moment of absolute clarity and only by your Grace are we still here and in one piece.

And as soon as we got home after the trip to the library, I went straight into the kitchen.

And fried us some homemade zucchini bites.

It’s the right thing to do.

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