This post isn’t really about my little green house, but more about getting my stress in perspective. It happened in the midst of a really busy week of work and moving and my car full of boxes.
Have you ever been in standstill traffic and caught yourself thinking, “There better be an accident up there.” You know, instead of a ridiculous reason for the delay that will make you late for dinner or that meeting you don’t really want to go to, but don’t want to show up late for either? We don’t mean it, but it’s such an inconvenience to be stuck in traffic.
Tonight my new commute took longer than my old commute ever took. My Seattle address is an hour north of work. My little green house is 30 minutes south of work. So, a few days a week I pack up my car as full as it will pack and drop off a load at my new home.
Just before 3:00 p.m. there was a fatal accident on the southbound highway involving a tractor trailer flipping and bursting into flames. Determined to empty my car, I ventured out two hours later. It took an hour to cover the normal 10 minute drive to the highway, and traffic was nearly stopped in a line at the entrance.
I took my time, stopping for coffee and hoping things would clear a bit. They didn’t, but eventually I made it and emptied my car. Driving back to Seattle, I could see the southbound traffic barely moving, six hours after the accident. Three lanes waiting to squeeze through one. It was a 15 mile back-up.
Thoughts of how late it would be getting back to up to Seattle tonight were a shadow in importance to the sadness I felt for the truck driver who lost his life this afternoon in a horrific accident, and the gratefulness I felt to be alive. Just like me, he was doing his job, a daily commute, and now just before the holidays his family is without their loved one.
The 9:00 p.m. standstill, ironically, was filled with tractor trailers. Driving past them northbound, it appeared as if it were a procession, a paying homage. And I thought it seemed appropriate that I and all of us on that road tonight were still for a few moments. Someone lost a life. Perhaps if we stopped on the roads every time someone was killed in an accident we’d have more reverence for the roads and our daily commutes. We’d consider the days others are having. We’d take a moment to be glad we are alive.
I’m back in Seattle, it’s late. The week is still busy and I still have a lot of boxes to load in my car. I did not pack the kitchen as I had planned. Still, I’m not nearly as stressed as I was this morning. I gained some perspective tonight.
That’s what happened on my way to deliver a little load to my new home.