Friday, August 29, 2008


We were sitting in a small booth having our usual tuna fish sandwich lunch.
My wife raised her head, a look of quiet pleasure which brought an almost imperceptible trace of wetness to her eyes and said: “ It’s so nice being here.”
We had made our annual trip to a bucolic town in northwestern Massachusetts, planning to visit the wonderful Clark Art Museum and of course explore some shopping possibilities in one particular women’s clothing boutique.
But this visit was somewhat different from others. The day before, as we were cruising along the New York throughway our car suddenly careened out of control. My wife valiantly tried to bring the car back onto the highway. In a matter of a few fleeting moments, she was able to steer the vehicle toward a marshy stretch of land closed off by a fence which thankfully halted our dizzying plunge off the road. Other than a bump on the head and aching backs and necks, we were unhurt.
As we climbed out of the car we were greeted with:”Are you alright? Should we call an ambulance? We’ve called 911!”
A family of three, father, mother and daughter on the way to Williams College to launch the daughter’s college career. Moments later, another car pulled over, words of concern emerging from inside. We were grateful for the caring attention of total strangers.
Highway patrol and tow truck arrived within minutes and after an hour or so of paper work and phone calls we were back on our way to the Berkshires.
“It is nice being here!” Here is not only a quaint little diner in a charming New England town. Here is being alive, unharmed, delivered from serious mishap, even death.
We had an accident; no one was to blame-no one was injured. The car had suddenly succumbed to mechanical failure, a machine unable to function any longer.
And we are blessed with the greatest gift of all, the gift of “ being here.”
My wife and I embraced and tearfully recited together the prayer of deliverance-“Blessed are You… who graciously bestowed Your favor upon us.”

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