As I was driving home from yoga class today, I noticed a line of cars waiting to merge from the entrance ramp onto the freeway. That’s odd – usually there are no lines on the weekend… As I got closer, I saw that a car had spun around on the ramp, and was now facing the opposite direction from what it should be. Uh oh…. That’s a terrible position to be in. I have done that once – I hit a patch of ice on the freeway, and lost control of my car. Fortunately a metal road median stopped me; unfortunately when my car came to rest it was facing north-bound when it should have been pointing south-bound. I still have instant recall of how my body felt in those moments – how frantically and furiously my heart was beating, how short and choppy my breathing was, how violently my hands and legs were shaking… God, it was terrible. Today my heart went out to the driver on the entrance ramp; I’ve been there, sister.
As I approached the freeway ramp even closer, I saw that a few cars had parked along the shoulder of the entrance path…and that a few people had gotten out of their vehicles…and that several men were working to physically turn the car around for the distressed driver.
In our “out-for-myself” society, with our strong tempers and short fuses, on this truly bitter cold day, I was simultaneously shocked and delighted to see people stop, help, and care for a fellow traveler.
Compassion was alive and well on the freeway today.
Glad to see a happy ending. I remember spinning out on a highway in snow too. I was 22 years old and I had a car full of kittens. (Well, three.) It was right at the Tennessee/ Virgina border on Interstate 81, and it was getting dark. Thankfully there were hardly any cars on the freeway. I was rescued by someone who looked exactly like Charley in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. He helped me get my car back on the road. It was like he had come from nowhere. I don’t remember seeing another car. I still consider it to have been an encounter with an angel. I didn’t cry until I talked to my mom on the phone that night.
Thanks for this positive post!
Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, was ‘okay’ after my freeway experience – until I saw my boyfriend. It was only when I was home, and safe, and in the presence of a person I cared for that the events of the day all hit me; and then I crumbled. But I’m glad I had someone there to hug me and hold me. People can be amazing.
Stef, your description of your own experience— “how violently my hands and legs were shaking” —immediately and vividly brought to mind the time I spun my car off a snowy road. My shaking, rubbery legs are what I most clearly remember from that night. You’re right—it’s a shaking unlike anything else, isn’t it?
It really is unlike anything I had experienced before; roller coasters don’t even come close. I hope you got out of your situation okay; here’s to safe driving this winter. 🙂