Here is something I've never told another soul, ever, ever. And I'm not sure why it's been on my mind lately; perhaps it's the changeover of seasons, both in the year and in my own life (pivotal birthdays and such)?
At any rate, several years ago, I lived and studied in Sedona, Arizona. I was there for a couple of months, and one Sunday, very early, I decided to drive to Flagstaff. I'd never been, and I wanted to see both the mountains and the town. My mum had been there as a young woman and it seemed like completing a circle, somehow.
Those of you who have traveled between Sedona and Flagstaff know that it is an incredibly steep, incredibly beautiful drive; hairpin turns climb Oak Creek Canyon, and for this sea-level girl, it was staggering, breathtaking.
Which is why, to this day, I wonder how I fell asleep. I have no idea if it was the elevation, exhaustion, stupidity, or karma. I have absolutely no memory of those few minutes of my drive, but I do remember suddenly hearing my name, somehow, and opening my eyes. I was heading straight for the drop into the canyon and only an insane wrenching of my steering wheel kept me from going over the edge.
There was nowhere to pull over, so I just kept going. I don't really remember that part, either, but I do know that I was wide awake at this point. And I wish I could say I've been wide awake ever since, but you know, as much life-changing potential as that moment had, I think it was too terrifying to process. Until now? I don't know. But at any rate, it has been a gift.
No matter what, no matter how long I live, I get to wake up every morning and say, this is one more day I almost didn't get.