A Good Day to Be Alive!



The Miracle of Divine Intervention

Have you ever experienced an unexpected state of danger when, inexplicably, help is at hand? A voice, a force protecting you, a power moving you out of the way of impending harm? I bet you have! I have too. I think sharing our miracle stories is so vital to supporting our sense of faith and trust in an unseen world, in an unseen Divine hand.

I’ve been a speed freak all my life, always loving fast motorcycles and sports cars. It started when my au-pair, Elizabeth Shaw, took me for a super fast spin in her white sports car, when I was about 8. It was absolutely exhilarating, and I vowed to have a sports car like hers when I grew up. Just like I vowed to be the martial arts expert, Emma Peel, from the Avengers… the first woman I actually admired enough to want to emulate on the TV! Once I was old enough to drive, I only rode motorbikes for years in England before ever bothering to learn to drive a car. Cars just didn’t interest me in the least (unless they were fast convertibles). But to ride at 100 mph on a sleek motorbike was definitely the mode of wild and wooly transport I desired and chose.

One summer, when I was 22, I randomly decided to go on a 10 day adventure to the Isle of Man, alone. It was over 300 miles from Cambridge, but that didn’t worry me one bit. I started my journey early in the morning, went as fast as I could, and got stopped and warned for speeding by police 3 times as I booked it over the beauty of England’s green, rolling countryside. You’d think I’d pay attention to the Universe by the third time right? Wrong! As the sun was setting that evening I was bombing up a steep hill along a country road at around 90 mph. I saw a traffic light turning orange ahead and quickly calculated that I could make it through with a further rapid twist of my wrist. I whizzed through effortlessly. But then at the crest of the hill I saw a totally unexpected second set of lights. And they were firmly set on red. Oh shit. There was absolutely no way I could stop.

I wailed through that red light at about 110 mph, narrowly missing a car crossing at that intersection by about 6 inches. Holy mackerel! The driver just kept on driving. I, on the other hand, realizing I’d just escaped death by a hair’s breadth was, finally, appropriately sobered. I stopped and sat down in the long grass at the side of the road, and began to shake from head to toe. Literally. I couldn’t stop for the longest time. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I had been protected by something, somehow. I knew I’d been spared. I didn’t know why, I just knew that it was clearly not my time to die (or the other driver’s apparently), and something, someone, knew that. I was profoundly perturbed but finally, giving deep thanks in my heart, I clambered back on my motorbike and headed for the ferry at Liverpool before nightfall. It suddenly felt like a good day to be alive! My wild adventure had only just begun, and there were other very significant miracles on that initiatory trip… but those are for another time.

The next vehicular near death experience was many years later. I had worked hard as an entrepreneur, and as a reward, beyond buying a lovely home and taking care of my kids, I decided to finally buy my dream sports car. It was a brand new Silver Porsche Boxster, in the year they brought it to market. There was something about that car… the moment I set eyes on it I knew it was “my” car! I went straight to the dealership, blithely announcing I wanted one. The salesman smiled obsequiously, explaining there was a massive waitlist lasting at least 9 months. I was undeterred. I told him I wanted one and to please find one for me. Well, a few days later, he called me out of the blue, to announce that a gentleman who had ordered one, decided to go for a Carrera instead, so if I wanted it I had to be there right away, with a deposit of at least $3,000. I was there within the hour! In fact I cried tears of pure joy as I drove this beautiful car out of the lot. It was perfect, and it was finally mine, only 34 years after my promise to have a sports car when I grew up.

So what happened? Well, one day my husband was driving the car down to Denver, with me as the passenger. Of course Bill loved driving this fast, elegant car as much as I did. But he had an unusually annoying habit of running cars on close to empty (some kind of internal daredevil game I guess) and since he’d been driving the Boxster the last few days, I hadn’t realized that indeed the fuel tank was very low. Suddenly on I25, precisely where 3 other lanes of traffic merged with the 3 lanes of the freeway we were on, the car sputtered and promptly died, just as he slid it onto the hard shoulder. He said abruptly and firmly “stay here”, in a very cool tone, jumped out of the car and ran across the merging 3 lanes of fast traffic to acquire some petrol. I sat there nonplussed, surrounded by these 6 converging lanes, feeling incredibly exposed and vulnerable, especially as the top was down and the noise of the traffic was deafening in my ears.

Suddenly I got a distinct impression of a car ploughing right into me from behind. But my logic told me that was impossible, as cars aren’t allowed to drive on the shoulder, unless they’re coming to an emergency stop, like we were. The impression stayed with me, but I chose not to take heed from the warning, and to denounce it with my mind. I sat there quietly waiting for Bill to return with the much needed can of petrol, but he was nowhere in sight. Then I saw a tow truck over in the far left lane suddenly come barreling over, to pull up snugly right behind me. I started to get out of the Boxster, to go speak to the driver, but this handsome man with curly dark hair (yes, I noticed, even then!) quickly waved me to go around to the safer passenger side, away from the fast traffic. I did as he said, as he rolled down the passenger window, climbing up the side steps and fully leaning into his cab. Not more than a few words spilled out of his lips when, all of a sudden, I felt a massive jolt go through my body, as we lurched forward, slamming into my Boxster, shoving it far out into the merging lanes. I screamed SO loud and held onto the window frame like a monkey grabbing that proverbial last banana, as a car smashed into us from behind at 70 mph!!! Yes, on the hard shoulder. Exactly like the impression I had received earlier as I’d sat waiting. It was so fortunate that I was leaning into the cab so far, and that, as an ex-circus performer, I was super quick with my reflexes to hold on tighter than tight. This way I became almost unmovable, and thus safe from being thrown from the truck into the road.

The truck driver immediately asked if I was ok. When I said “yes” firmly and unequivocally, tears started rolling down his cheeks. He exclaimed that something had told him to drive over to help me. It had been hard for him to cross the lanes in time to get behind my car, but he somehow knew he must. I was strangely calm, yet so so grateful, as I told him in no uncertain terms that he was indeed an earth angel – my earth angel that day. As I looked below me I saw the truck had ploughed into the cement wall, so had I not been up high on the steps, I would have been unceremoniously crushed between the truck and that wall. And the more I surveyed the scene the more I realized I had been completely protected in that one safe spot in the midst of wreckage. Had I been sitting in my own car I would’ve probably broken my neck or back with the harsh impact of the car hitting the truck that then crashed into the Boxster from behind.

What I felt in that moment was an unbelievable sense of peace. A bottomless, ubiquitous experience of peace. It was as if the unseen hand of the Divine had come down from the heavens to pluck me from an unsafe place, into a perfectly shielded, protected location where no harm could touch me. There was no question – it was not my time to die. There was work to be done. My soul’s journey on the earth at this moment was definitely not complete. It was undeniable, I knew it, I felt it.

No one knows why the man careered into us the way he did. Was he drunk? Over medicated? Did he fall asleep at the wheel? I never heard the reason, only that he was uninjured, as were all 3 of us. What a blessing that was to hear. I couldn’t thank my earth angel enough, and called him days later to thank him yet again for saving my life. He was gracious, humble, and simply said he did what he was guided to do. Yes, listening and paying close attention to the signs of the moment is certainly the moral of this story. I was eerily calm the rest of the day, staying in that oasis of peace, and being ultra aware that this was indeed a very good day to be alive.

The latest near death experience was again in my Boxster. It had been raining hard apparently, though I hadn’t noticed as I was inside a mall, shopping for I know not what. When I came out to my car the sun was shining, yet I noticed the huge puddles all around, the remnants of a fierce storm. I’d left the top down, so my seat was soaking wet, as was all the interior. Though I felt a bit silly for not being more mindful, I didn’t really care about getting wet. It wouldn’t be the first time I told myself quickly.

As I accelerated onto the on-ramp to merge gracefully onto the highway, I noticed the massive pools of water were deeper than I expected. Suddenly I felt the wheels underneath me lose their grip on the roads, and before I knew it we started hydroplaning. I saw a very steep ditch to my left and all I could think was “I’m NOT going to go down there, I must stay on the road!” I wasn’t sure what to do exactly, as everything was rapidly moving out of my control, when I heard a voice say distinctly “take your hands off the wheel and your feet off the pedals”. My car was manual shift of course (why buy an automatic sports car right?!), so I knew I’d stall out if not able to change gears. But this time I did what I was told, and what happened next was a miracle. With no hands to steer and no feet to adjust speed or gears, the car did a complete 360º circle in slow motion, as gracefully as a smooth pirouette on pointe. (My first career was as a ballerina so I know this feeling exactly!) “Iona” – the name of my silver chariot – came to a quiet rest and stalled out exactly at the end of the spin, facing forwards, and totally safe from the dreaded ditch. Bewildered and not a little shaken, I sat stock still for a moment, thanking God/Goddess/the Universe/ the Divine for saving my life, yet again. Then I looked in my rearview mirror to see a car in the distance, about to come heading down the ramp. I quietly started Iona up and got on my way, certainly driving in a more gingerly fashion than I would ever normally do.

On the way home, keeping at a very respectable pace all the way I must add, I couldn’t stop wondering – where did that voice come from? Whose voice was it? My guardian angel perhaps? A beloved ancestor? The Divine him/herself? I may never know, but what I do know, once again, was that it simply wasn’t my day to die.

Which made it a very very good day to be alive!




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