Near Miss

Wait! Frantically I chased the bus trying to catch the driver’s attention. Brakes screeched and exhaust puffed as he threw open the door and impatiently waved me in. Out of breath from my unexpected sprint, I leaped onto the bus which jerked roughly into motion. Why does everything seem so urgent?

Ear shattering noises blasting from my alarm clock that morning had startled me into reality. Abusing the snooze button meant ultimately springing from bed in a hasty rush. After a speedy shower I dressed in a hurry and dashed out of my front door to see the bus pulling away.

And from now on I should hurry! I nearly missed it!

Anxiety at work as constant emails popped up. Between fast-paced phone calls I zipped out for a quick lunch and realized in a panic that I was late to a meeting. Choking down a sandwich while running, I flew through the doors of the conference room just as the meeting began.

Frazzled and heading home, the congested commute included a hectic stop by the crowded market before charging off to meet others at a restaurant across town. The cab was late, I anxiously begged the driver to speed up, and barely made it before losing the reservation.

Busy Saturday’s numerous errands included a breakneck trip to the dry cleaners before stopping by the bank. Next, off to the post office. Back towards home to drop off the car for repairs before the mechanic closed. Heavy traffic and honking horns added to the stress of trying to make it in time.

And from now on I should hurry! I nearly missed it!

Breathe. Calmly, I began the next morning determined to take it easy. Though always much to do, this day would not suffer the angry push from an alarm clock. Lusciously aromatic steam billowed from my coffee cup as I eased into the cushioned chair on the patio outside. The fountain trickled peacefully in the background.

Beautifully, a cardinal sang from a branch in the maple as a nearby squirrel gave himself a lazy scratch behind the ear. Two small white butterflies danced and drifted as a pair across the garden. A fuzzy bumblebee covered in pollen took his time crawling over marigolds blooming under the crepe myrtle.

Gracefully, a sparrow floated down to land at the edge of the fountain. The little bird dipped its beak into the water, ruffled its feathers, and with eyes closed sat motionless in the early sunshine for several minutes. No sound. No movement. That tiny fellow had made a decision to find some peace in that moment. A valuable lesson.

And from now on I should slow down. I nearly missed it.

Stuart M. Perkins

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75 Comments

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75 responses to “Near Miss

  1. Beautiful post. Nicely written.

  2. shann273

    I can so relate to the frenzy of living but also to the little things like coffee in the morning. This story is so often my life too! But I’m glad I don’t have to chase a bus! Ew!

  3. Lovely piece. I enjoyed your vivid descriptions.

  4. Such a beautiful snippet. Only just yesterday did I spot a baby squirrel munching on a nut, and mesmerised I stood there looking at the little one munch, and when I snapped back to reality, I had to hurry again! The post definitely reminds one of “What is this life, if full of care, we don’t have time to stand and stare”.

  5. LUSH.
    I felt the calm after the storm and revelled in it. Fabulous writing .. can’t wait to read more. Happy New Year!

  6. I really enjoyed reading this:) your descriptions are so so vivid that u can imagine everything as if you are there

  7. Love the contrast in writing styles that made me feel the rushed and the calm.

  8. Reading this I could really feel the frenetic energy and panic. Nice writing. Thx for sharing.

  9. I enjoyed this because of your word pictures and clear voice. Excellent

  10. I really enjoy your style of writing, especially the descriptions of nature. You paint such a clear picture that I feel like I’m there. Thank you for following my blog!

  11. Lee

    Ahhhhh! The DC (a guess, that, based on your publishing in the Virginia rag, though it could be Richmond or Rockville or . . . ) commute.

    Do not miss it one bit.

    Now gazing in the first flush of dawn up valley–Fifty Mile View, I call it. The river comes out of Yellowstone. The morning rush is about 15 vehicles between 5 and 10 am. The neighbor feeds his cows around 9. He’s calving now. On my afternoon stroll, I pause to warn the little rompers by naming them: Roast Beef, Hamburger, Shit on a Shingle, Pot Roast, sometimes just plain Dinner. Then I walk down to the creek and stand on the bridge and watch the water.

    Do not miss 270 or 95 one frigging bit.

    • DC commute, definitely. I’m from Richmond but live in DC now. I thought Richmond had traffic… but nooo. I grew up with cows and prefer that view. One day I’ll have it again! Thanks for the comment.

  12. Tia

    I loved it! Your writing is so relatable. I hope to be able to flow like this someday.

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