It was a night, years ago, filled with same normalcy that I had become accustomed to over the past two weeks of my stay in East-Central Africa. I was walking back enjoying the reward of an ice cream sandwich for which I had earned as a token of gratitude for a hard days work. Walking along the clearly marked but unfortunately dark, dirt roads that filled the streets of Uganda, I was engaged in conversation with three friends who I had become increasing close with over the duration of the trip. Walking, I had become somewhat apprehensive about these girls being on the outside of the road. In an effort to ensure their safety, I continually located myself closest to moving vehicles. However vehicles on this road were few. Furthermore, our path was mildly separated from the road by elevation.
What happened next, I don’t believe will ever exit even the innermost parts of my conscious. In a matter of flashing seconds I heard a distant noise, jolted my head to its left where my eyes met with the illuminated lenses of the 35 mph, approaching SUV. At that very moment, I knew the collision of this immense scrap of metal and my pint sized carcass, in comparison, was tragedically imminent. I braced, in what small time i had, for impact. Strangely enough, as they SUV hoisted me up and carried me onwards, I felt an unspeakable calmness. All at once I gazed down right, eyeing the rail guard of the vehicle, and watched as it came to an abrupt stop. My body on the other hand, as if transformed into a flimsy paperweight, continued its new found momentum straight into the unmoving ground.
Short flashes of the lost events that transpired from the time I smacked the ground, now unconscious, to the time I awoke in the hospital visit me every now and then. But to this day all i know is that, in that unnerving time, my friends stood by me and ensured that I would see another day. Walking out of that hospital the next day with only a few sore ribs and a sore back, I found myself unable to understand the sheer magnitude of what has just taken place. And for a while I found myself numb and paralyzed to the fact that in the eyes of a potential tragedy, I made it out with some scratches. This realization caused me to take a hard look at myself, only recently, and use this event instead as a tool for ongoing hope.
Today I continue to use it to remind my self of the fragilty of life, and the gratitude I have for being able to keep on living, loving, and experiencing all that my own personal journey has to offer me. And when tough times fall on me, and fear courses though my veins, I find solace in fact that I am able to have any experience, good or bad.