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Close Call

Out of the corner of my eye I saw her, about 8 years old riding her bike. Suddenly her wheel wedged itself into the dirt groove beside the sidewalk, the bike sprung back and forth. Her eyes got big.

She popped her legs out and jumped off the bike as it fell sideways crashing.  She stood there a moment assessing the situation. I watched her exhale. I saw her shoulders relax, whew close call.

Weve all been there, the close call, the near miss. That moment when you look back and realize what might have happened, what could have been.  Ive had some close to calamity experiences that jolted me. Times I found myself saying Wow, where did that come from? Many of the unexpected close calls have been with people.  An individual reveals their character or a piece of their temperament surfaces illuminating a facet unbeknownst to me.  Sometimes the near miss surprised me because I made a wrong assumption which prevented me from seeing the hazard.  But other times I know Im pressing my luck. There are times I do stuff knowing that I might run into trouble. I tackle something I dont have the skill to do, I am late, I break a rule, I am careless or I wing it hoping that things will work out.  Even worst  there are times I do it just because I want to, like eat the whole bag of cookies and hope I dont gain any weight.  It might not happen to me.

Regardless of whether or not I saw it coming, the close call always warrants taking the time to stop and reflect. Why did the bike tire go into the ditch? Why did I eat the cookies? Why did the relationship go awry? What did I do that created the near miss? After the emergency of the crisis fades do we forget or do we take steps to prevent it.  When was the last time you had a near miss?