Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Reason to Be Thankful This Weekend---Going With the Flow

FRIDAY AFTERNOON AFTER DRIVING BACK TO NASHVILLE FROM THE CUMBERLAND PLATEAU, I did something I almost never do: I drove into the park I normally park and hike in---just to enjoy the scenery and reflect on all my blessings. I had already exercised, so I relished the sunny afternoon in relax mode.

Percy Warner Park is a park laced with one-way, single-lane driving loops, as well as various walking and horse trails. Anyway, I decided to drive one of the loops hoping to find a place to get out, sit down and be quiet for a while. It was my grandson's 4th birthday and I wanted to pray and reflect on all that has happened over the past five years in our lives.

I was driving up a steep, curvy one-way, single lane road when suddenly a lone biker came barrelling down the hill and around a bad curve in front  as fast as gravity allowed.  He was going in the wrong direction and headed---at warp speed--- straight for a head-on collision with my car.

I hit my brakes, watched him in slow motion as he tried to correct, then skidded down the leafy road barely missing my driver's side by inches. I froze watching him in slow motion then followed him in my rear-view mirror knowing there was another bad curve he had to make behind me.

I felt like I was watching a kamikaze self-destruct in slow motion--- totally helpless to do anything but stare.

In my rear-view mirror, I saw him try to correct again to make the dangerous curve.  To no avail.

I felt like I was watching live NFL football as this biker sped completely out-of-control.  The bike flew in one direction, the biker hit the pavement and his wallet and cell phone flew back towards me.  I was now paralyzed by the spectacle unfolding around me.

Did this guy have a death wish?

The biker now lay lifeless in the road behind me.

I pushed my car in park, turned off the engine, put on the emergency brake and slowly got out of my car.  I walked back to the moaning biker.  His face and knuckles were bleeding.

 It was a nasty fall but I sensed not fatal or life-threatening.

I knelt down beside him as he continued to writhe and moan. 

You're going to be okay, I  said.  You're going to be okay.

He continued to moan. And moan.  And moan.

I gave him space, then quietly asked what I could do to help?  Call 911?  Could he move?

A man walked up the road to the scene and commiserated but other than that acted helpless.

I waited with the biker.  Then he slowly started to move and try to turn over.

You're okay, I reiterated.  Think you can get up now?

He indicated he thought he could.

The upshoot of this afternoon excursion was one more thing to be grateful for:  a biker who crashed and burned, but ultimately got up with his injuries and walked back down the steep, dangerous hill.

As he started to move I asked him if he knew he was speeding down the one-way road going the wrong direction.  He said he did not.  I suggested next time he get a map of the park road system and ride with rather than against the flow of traffic.

He said he would but might just take a hike there next time.  I watched him recover his bike, his shattered phone and wallet, and asked him to please be careful as he limped out of sight.

As I went back to my car, I said a prayer for him and thanked God that it wasn't worse than it was.  He was bruised, bloodied and  sore.  But he was clearly okay to ride another  day.

Hopefully going with the flow next time----a great life lesson for us all, especially me.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Wow! What a scary experience. Christ was there through you to comfort him and help him to understand how to make better choices next time.