By Earl Chinnici
Have you ever wondered how transformed your life could be if one small detail of your past had happened a little differently? It seems everyone occasionally entertains such thoughts. I suppose it is human nature. And isn’t it funny that we often blindly envision how life could be better, not considering how it could be worse? Sometimes, however, our eyes are forced wide open—even if only for a moment. What you are about to read is my unadulterated recollection of one such time. Where I was going I cannot recall, but the trip was unforgettable.
Checking my watch to verify I was running late, I rushed to grab my keys from a hook on the wall just inside the front door of my home. Apparently, I was in too much of a hurry. I fumbled and gravity took over. “ Great, ” I thought, “what’s two seconds when I’m already running late?” I knelt to retrieve the keys then persevered, locking the door behind me. The next six and a half miles of my journey were utterly uneventful.
“Please turn green,” I said aloud as I approached the first of two busy intersections between my home and my destination. Nearly stopping about fifteen feet short of the crosswalk, I was glad to see the traffic signal mercifully comply. As I accelerated and started through the intersection, a four-door sedan from days gone by passed immediately in front of me like a whirlwind, missing my car by mere inches. Shocked and trembling, I stared at the green light I had abruptly stopped under as my mind replayed the dropped keys and the close encounter. A loud and persistent horn soon sounded behind me, urging me to get it in gear. Wiser and more cautiously, I continued along my path. — Life isn’t a race, you see. You don’t need to be in a hurry to cross the finish line.