brake light came on in my car last night, driving home from the volleyball tournament in fresh snowfall, roads newly slick. I came up slowly on the first stoplight, testing the brakes, gently pumping.
All was well. I was bringing my daughter home, so I would have stopped and called for help if there were any trouble, but I continued to drive with extra caution and reduced speed, honoring the weather conditions and dashboard light.
I was about to take US 51, aka Main Street, home, instead of the faster-paced beltway, but my daughter said, "Aren't you going to turn?" and I sensed her hunger. "It's usually faster," she said, thinking of her dad's driving, or perhaps her own, the one time we let her drive herself to practice, in daylight, no weather issues.
So I signaled, took the beltway, but as soon as we got on the ramp, I could see a string of cars, a police car at a slant, blocking one lane, lights flashing.
It wouldn't be faster, and just as well. We were in regulated traffic, steady but slow, occasional stop and go, and eventually we passed the trouble, nothing awful, a row of cars bumped.
When one is done, I wonder--is there not another?
"It's a teenager," said my daughter.
And then, if God is willing, perhaps we are neighbors again.
We got home safely, and I fed everyone. Life's fragility makes me grateful for each safe return, every meal.
I cannot tell how Eternity seems. It sweeps around me like a sea.
My folks got home safely from their two weeks in Florida yesterday, too. I had taken the moldy stuff out of their fridge and checked their house in the morning, before the brake light came on. Most clocks were on, but the stove clock was flashing, and the microwave clock off, so the power must have flickered, probably during the hailstorm last weekend.
And this world is such a little place, just the red in the sky, before the sun rises.
And now the dear sweet husband tells me, "Your brakes are OK." It was the brake fluid, he refilled it, and in the spring he will replace the brake pads. In our driveway. But it's too late to go to church. I'm in poetry mode, laundry mode, pyjamas.
So let us keep fast hold of hands, please, that when the birds begin, none of us be missing!