Thanks for all the birthday wishes today. In addition to birthdays, there’s another day I’m going to start celebrating. April 10th.
On April 10th, while bicycling at 35 mph, I was struck by a car. I was lucky, breaking my arm, slicing my patella tendon (good for a dozen stitches) and bruising my back. Just 6 inches to the right, though, and I would have avoided the collision altogether.
Then again, just 6 inches to the left, and I would have rammed my face into the side of an SUV — at 35 mph. Imagine running as fast as you can and leading with your face into a brick wall, and you’re about 1/3 of the impact we’re talking about. I’m pretty sure I’d be left with some combination of coma, paralysis, reconstructive surgeries, or death.
There’s nothing like a brush with death, a burning of one of my nine lives, to bring some things into focus. For me, I don’t think the universe was trying to tell me something. But I heard something anyway.
What I heard was that life is damn good. Regardless of finances, piles of laundry to do, rude salespeople — daily annoyances large and small — this morning I got to watch a woodpecker out my window. For that matter, yesterday I got to do laundry and deal with rude salespeople. What a gift versus my alternative!
Birthday celebrations are in essence a celebration of survival. You made it another year! But from now on my Survival Day is April 10th.