Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Rear End of Things

My car was rear-ended this week by a Mariners fan as both of us merged southbound onto a busy road. I remember the pain of the whiplash as my head banged against the side of the window from the impact. I swerved to safety at the side of the road. It was a shock. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. My hands trembled as I reached for some paper and a pen, afraid to see the damage at the rear of the vehicle and trying to remain poised and think what information I needed from the stranger. I got nervously out of the car, my every faculty feeling employed. The other driver was standing there waiting, and all I could think to do was probably the most human thing to do – introduce myself, “I’m Christina.” And he replied apologetically and said “That’s my wife’s name!” 

It’s a wonder how people collide into our lives, merging paths in less than desirable ways sometimes, and we find out those we want to blame are not all that different from ourselves after all. The car has been towed to the body shop, and I am adapting to living without it for a time, driving around a rental car and pondering the passing of things, of what we possess, and the fragility of life.

The irony of it all is that I am, if you will, at the rear end of a lot of things. There’s a song that goes “We’re going through changes now,” (click here for the full song by Langhorne Slim & The Law). 72 days to go until I’m a married woman and living in a new home with my hubby, starting out our life together. The old is passing away and soon new things will come. The car that’s been the mascot of my single “freedom” years, of college, of living out on my own, road tripping to Georgia with other writers, moving across the country to Washington state, and adapting to the beat of a new culture and city life…all wrapped up in Lucy getting a new start. I am ready for change, to accept the loss of things, for to gain the joy of new experiences and "to gain Christ," as St. Paul would say.

Looking back over the past year, a lot has happened as I became a city girl, comfortable in my shoes walking the streets, venturing to coffee shops, maneuvering through crazy traffic, running urban trails and parallel parking. I’ve moved from fear to confidence in doing things I’d never done before and not thinking twice about it. And I am reassured today, in a life being spared, that there is much more to happen.

Once upon an April, my father passed away in an auto collision, but here I am. Thank God! As the beat of the music swells around me in the hip hop class at my neighborhood fitness studio, I am counting every blessing of being alive, of being able to move, to dance with my body, to feel emotion, and to love.

“Your heart is beating loudly,” said the chiropractor today with the stethoscope to my chest. 

Yes, it’s beating loudly because it has so much to beat for!