Little twists of fate are infinite and all around us. We swim through them all day, every day, rarely acknowledging them, and often we never know they are there.
Every action we take we take, every word we express, and pair of eyes we meet has the potential for infinite outcomes and subsequent repercussions. What we remain aware of though, is usually just the tangible result. Three years ago this week, I closed up my fitness studio for the day, and prepared to ride my bike roughly 6 miles home on a December afternoon in Fallbrook, California.
Locking the front door of my studio in my end of day scurry, and as I placed the key in the lock hurrying to get on my bicycle, I missed the keyhole, and they keys fell to the sidewalk below. I bent down and retrieved them, this time placing the key squarely into the lock, and I closed up shop for the day. This mishap of dropping my keys lasted maybe… 5 seconds.
Once on my bike I enjoyed every minute of my ride home. The aesthetic of Fallbrook on a sunny December afternoon is a gift to the eyes. Riding my bike down Green Canyon Road, I felt like I was riding across a painting of Hawaii. Between the tall palm trees, bright bougainvillea hedges, and the scent of citrus wafting through the air, my ride home from work was the cherry on top of each day.
Green Canyon is a curvy rural road barely traveled. For my trips home after work it was always downhill. I usually rode the yellow line in the middle, and regularly reached speeds in the 40s. If a car approached me from behind, I would hear it well in advance, and move to the right-hand shoulder of the road.
On this particular afternoon, while in full glide and all alone on the road, I heard a loud engine behind me. I could tell it was a large pickup truck. As I veered to the road’s edge the truck passed me at an excessive speed – maybe 50 or 60 miles per hour, but the driver waived to acknowledge my lending the right of way.
Roughly 80-100 yards after the truck passed me, the driver failed to properly navigate a tight curve. The truck crossed the right shoulder of the road and slammed head-on into an embankment supporting several large eucalyptus trees on an acre or so of well-groomed property.
In less than 5 seconds my bike and I caught up with the truck. I stopped. The engine was steaming, but the driver and passenger, both day laborers, were okay. It was obvious that I was more shaken than they were. They called a friend to help them, and I returned to my bicycle commute – trembling as I rode.
Just 5 seconds ahead of me they experienced a violent collision – just 5 seconds, on the heels of me fumbling and dropping my keys at the door for about as long prior to my ride.
Little twists of fate are infinite and all around us. We swim through them all day, every day, and rarely are we aware of them, let alone acknowledge them. I acknowledged this one, and reflect on it regularly.
The universe lines up much more in probabilities than certainties. There is no way of knowing what would have happened had I not dropped my keys. Those possibilities are infinite. I only know that I have that memory – to possess always as a reminder that twists of fate are in every moment. Be well… rc
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Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this wonderful cover from Concrete Blonde. Enjoy!