Saturday, February 11, 2017

Scared to Death?

A really frightening thing happened today.

Charlie and I were on our way to one of our favorite hiking spots to do some snowshoeing and enjoy the mild weather when an oncoming car crossed the center line and almost struck us head-on. I quickly swerved to the shoulder and missed the other car by inches and was able to correct my swerve before ending up in the ditch, but the incident left me badly shaken.

I was glad we were only a couple of miles from our destination where I'd have a chance to calm myself.

The scene played over and over in my head as I strapped on my snowshoes and got Charlie buckled into her harness. We set off for the quiet peninsula, off-trail, to make our own way through the woods. The rhythm of movement, deep breaths of cool humid air and the sight of Charlie bouncing through the woods slowly put my mind at ease.

As I thought about what "could have happened" I realized how lucky I was. Everything around me seemed more beautiful... even the stark and barren landscape and the grey sky with hazy sun shining through filmy cloud layers. I started feeling very grateful for everything in my life... my health, my family, friends, great job, cozy house and of course, my beautiful Charlie.

Mother Nature's artwork on a tree trunk.

And as I considered how horrible this day could have gone and how scared I was at that moment the car was heading toward us, I considered the phrase "scared to death."

I think in most instances when people are "scared to death," they are actually "scared to life." When you have a near-death experience or barely escape some terrible fate, life seems so much sweeter afterward.

I don't think people dwell on the "death" part of these scary situations as much as they begin to appreciate their life more. All the simple pleasures of every day life.

So today, I was "scared to life" and will probably carry this feeling with me for quite some time. I'll slow down, take in the scenery, smell the scents, taste the food, smile more and really listen when the people I love are talking to me. These are the moments that life is made of and that all too often, we ignore.

Take some time to experience each moment today and appreciate everything you have because you never know when you'll lose it. Live each day to the fullest!