“A warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts for a warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete. Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the experience of experiences is being alive.”
– Carlos Castaneda
A few weeks ago I was nearly hit by a trolley. I didn’t hear it coming and it was blocked from sight by a fence around a construction site. My eyes were focused on the river across the street. The water was dark and smooth like black ice and I was looking forward to my morning walk. My body felt strong and there was a bounce in my step.
And then I heard it. A low rumble, a something, a warning. I stopped the motion of my leg from moving forward. The trolley passed by within inches of my body – less than the distance of one step.
I stood frozen, unable to move in any direction. I looked down at my feet, my legs, my body. My heart raced. What if I hadn’t stopped? What if I hadn’t heard my angel, my higher self, the wheels on the track? What if I’d been distracted just enough to keep going?
I walked along that dark, smooth river to calm myself. Back home I told my husband what happened. He said he was glad I was ok. Glad seemed like an understatement. Glad? I wanted him to hold me in his arms for the rest of the day. I wanted to feel our hearts beat as one. I wanted to rejoice that we were together, safe and sound in that exact time and place. Instead, I said I was glad too, then went into the kitchen to make my breakfast.
We’re always faced with our mortality. Be it by age, illness, or accident. Why wait for a near death experience to rejoice in all we have? I’m grateful everyday to have my husband’s arms to hold me. I’m pleased they put up a warning side about the hidden trolley danger behind the construction fence. I’m thankful for every moment I’m guided and blessed and protected from taking the wrong step forward in my life. But most of all I’m simply glad to be alive.