Encounters On The Road Of Life
In the 1970s my husband and I used to drive to Mammoth Lakes, California at every opportunity we could manage. We were looking to break away from the noise and rush of the Los Angeles culture and the seemingly endless weather patterns that so seldom changed. We would stop along the way and have lunch, then head out again to the north. Our objective for traveling the five hours to Mammoth Lakes was not only for the breathtaking beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but also to look for the possibility of purchasing or starting a business that would allow us to move from the city to the mountains.
Our travels were along highway 395, a very busy and interesting route where one can experience Red Rock State Park, the Alabama Hills, Hot Creek Geological Site, the Mammoth Lakes fishing haven and ski resort town, Bodie Ghost Town, June Lake Loop, Lake Tahoe—all the way to Reno, Nevada. As one can see, there are a lot of interesting reasons that this route is heavily traveled by passenger cars and the trucking industry.
On one particular occasion as we were headed north toward Mammoth Lakes, we noticed a large southbound semi-truck that was weaving erratically. In the next breath the truck veered to the left, crossed over into our lane at a speed of around 55 or 60 mph and headed directly for our car. It was all happening so quickly, there was no time to get out of the way. I remember taking a deep breath and thinking to myself, this is it! This is how I leave this life. Time seemed to stand still, and a deep silence permeated the entirety of my being. Even though everything that was happening must have been more like seconds and not minutes, it felt like an eternity. I recall the truck bearing down head-on to our car and knowing there is no hope of escaping it. The silence became deafening, and it felt as though we were in a bubble of a sort as we watched in awe as the truck glided within arm’s reach down along the passenger’s side of the car and veered back onto the highway and continued south. How could that happen? It was bearing down directly in front of us with no room for correction. As we sat there with cars whizzing by us, we looked at each other and knew something remarkable had just happened. We drove the rest of the way in silence, soaking up the possibility that we had just experienced intervention from unseen forces.
To this day I can recall the feeling of the bubble and deep silence. In my heart I know that there was a greater power at play in that moment. Seeing the impossibility of avoiding being hit head-on and yet this behemoth truck sailing beside and past us as if it was gliding on air!
I am of the understanding that if it is my time to leave this earth, nothing can stop it from happening. And on the other hand, if it is not my time to leave this earth, there will always be something to prevent it from happening.
Oh, by the way, we did move to Mammoth Lakes and lived there for 20 years. The Sierras are a beauty that can’t be described and if you haven’t been there, put it on your bucket list.