I had one of those unique experiences Wednesday, the kind this blog loves. Driving home from school, I reached the bridge on Hwy 306, and the traffic stopped dead. After a few minutes I had made it to about the center of the bridge, when police cars started to arrive. One state trooper turned around and raced back the other way. I realized later that he had gone to close down the road in the direction from which I had come. Two ambulances passed, then about ten minutes later, a fire truck and a fire rescue unit. It looked like I was going to be there for a while.
I got out of my car and wandered around, looking over both sides.
The ambulances and fire trucks came back by to get to the hospital in Gainesville. The firemen waved at me sitting on the bridge railing.
I thought maybe the cars would start moving, but they didn't, and no cars came from the other side.
Then I heard the lifeflight helicopter circling. It must have been a really terrible accident. It is a weird feeling to just be there and not know what is happening. I did some calm meditation for the poor people in the accident.
I took some pictures...
Then I noticed something odd approaching from the south on the lake. It looked like an entire dock had broken free and was floating toward me. As it neared, I could see that it was newly built and being pushed by a tug boat sort of thing.
It was speeding along rather quickly, considering its size.
As it got closer, I started having an interesting, if shouted, conversation with the man standing on top. They had seen the helicopter, as well, and of course, could see that I was the only one on the bridge.
It had been pretty cloudy, and rain was approaching, but just as they passed under the bridge, the sun came out. I mean literally the moment they appeared on the other side. It was neat.
And....off they went.
Another lifeflight helicopter arrived. Guy works at the Home Depot not far about twelve miles from the
bridge and he said even he saw the helicopters.
After another fifteen minutes, I decided to go ahead and turn around and go back. It had been an hour and fifteen minutes, it was starting to pour rain, and it would take me 45 minutes to get home if I had to go all the way back to Gainesville and down to Hwy 369.
So, I've thought about it a lot since Wednesday. I wasn't able to find any information about what happened. But I've thought about it in relation to my life. My tagline is all experiences are valuable, but it could have a corollary, I suppose, that most experiences happen just when they are supposed to, for us to learn something, or notice something. Is that a corollary? Am I using that correctly? So why did I spend an hour in the middle of a bridge all alone? No one else got out of their car, or walked on the bridge. What does the bridge represent, there above the flow of life and the lake...
I waited patiently to be able to move forward. I could see that there were roadblocks and sadness ahead in my way, and I was willing to wait in peace to make my way home. But the rain came and suddenly in the lightning, the bridge didn't seem safe anymore, and I had to turn and go back. Back from whence I came, to get home another way. Why the smiling Dock Delivery Man rafting underneath me and the attendant ray of sunshine? I know it means something. I can feel it from very far inside the medullary cavity of some long bone somewhere. (I'm doing well in anatomy.)
I don't know the answer yet, but I'm not going to forget the experience. I think it will all come clear to me sooner than I might expect. For the moment, I am thankful that there is more than one way to get home sometimes. I hope I always know where home is, in the days ahead of me. I hope you all do, too.