Here in the heart of New England we get all sorts of winter weather. Sometimes snow. Sometimes rain. Sometimes ice.
Rain and snow? No problem.
On Monday we had a day of mostly light snow, mixed with rain. Typically this means that all of the roads will get a sound salting and sanding before morning.
On Tuesday I got up, hopped into the car with the dogs and headed over to my usual dog walking trail. My road seemed okay, mostly snowy but not slick. It had been sanded and was quite clear. Since my road had been no obstacle I didn't think twice about driving up a large hill to head to the parking lot of the trail. At the top of the hill I quickly realized that unlike my road, this large steep hill was not only without sand and salt, it was also a sheet of ice.
I started to slide down the hill slowly at first and as I approached the first set of stop signs I prayed that I would hit a dry patch and stop sliding. No such luck. Not only did I not stop sliding, the car picked up speed and was headed for a busy street at the end of the hill.
I did not panic. I had two choices. Try to turn and definitely hit a tree, parked car or house, or continue straight and hope that there were no cars coming when I went flying into the intersection.
I gambled and started to hit my horn sending a barrage of noise into my path desperately hoping that anyone driving would hear me coming.
Recently our Rabbi was talking to our congregation about belief in God. He said, "I know that some of you don't believe in God and he's totally cool with that."
Most days I am not sure what I believe in, but I felt blessed by the divine when I slid into that intersection and found it empty. The road on which I landed was sanded and I gingerly pulled my minivan into the parking lot and shook.
It felt like a miracle to have not been hit, not been injured, not been killed.
I also realized that it was time to replace the tires which our mechanic has been telling me to replace for two months. As soon as I got home I called the dealership, ordered the tires and a loaner car and plunked down $1200 that I cannot afford. Four hours later I was driving safely once more.
Such divine largess is not something to be taken lightly or for granted. I did not die. But I did listen. We might pray, we might beg to God, but we must also listen to the answer. We must do what must be done to be safe, to be happy, to be loved. What must be done is not always easy, but be done, it must.