I was taking my daily bicycle ride, doing my local training loop because it's predictable and on this day I had someplace to be, so time was a factor. It's a 20 mile up and back course on roads that are very familiar to me; I recognize each and every crack in the pavement as it passes on the ground below. The spot where I had an early morning crash trying to avoid a van a couple years ago is on this loop. In that accident I suffered a busted rib and gashed my eyebrow, an injury that required twenty-two stitches.
I completed the up portion of the loop and was heading back, when, up ahead, some 75 yards away, I could see what appeared to be a couple of wild turkeys making their way across one of the most dangerous three-way intersections in town. No one comes to a complete stop; they just slow down a bit and then continue on their way. They do it coming from all directions too, which makes it all the more challenging.
As I held my focus on the two waddling objects I could see the color pink... Now my eyesight hasn't improved any over the years, so I squinted to get a better look. I remember laughing to myself and thinking “who the heck would dress up a wild turkey?”
When I was close enough to see more clearly I discovered that these two waddling objects clad in bright pink were not wild turkeys... They were twin, blonde baby girls wearing matching pink outfits wandering alone through the dangerous intersection. I dismounted my bicycle at once, allowing it to come to a gliding stop on its own on someone’s front lawn. I saw that a car was stopped and the woman driving was trying to talk to the two baby girls through her rolled down window. I quickly asked if they were her children. As she was saying “no”, I was scooping up the one who was closest to the middle of the intersection. The women in the car immediately got out and grabbed the other. We looked at each other shocked! “Whose adorable little girls are these?” we wondered. And, “what are they doing here, in the middle of this dangerous intersection, alone?” The woman's son, who was about 13 years old, agreed to walk over to the nearby houses in search of their parents...
Meanwhile, the baby I'm holding is wet and crying. I'm wearing a wild looking, futuristic, bright-colored, aerodynamic cycling helmet, some narrow wrap-around, extremely dark sunglasses, and a multicolored Lycra cycling jacket. I look like an Alien and she's frightened!
All of a sudden, a hysterical blonde women starts across the street, but is unable to complete the walk without stopping several times to compose herself. She didn't immediately grab her children from us; it was obvious she was having a difficult time. When she did reach out, she took the child I was holding and gave her a tremendous hug, wrapping the baby girl's little body in her anxious arms. Several other adults from neighboring homes made their way slowly across the intersection and watched the mother and child reunions.
Once both children were safe from harm and back in the arms of their mother, the woman who had stopped in the car, her son, and I, walked slowly back towards our vehicles in total disbelief of what just happened... I got on my bicycle and pedaled away to the sounds of jubilant crying and a chorus of "thank-you".
As I rode off into the sunset feeling pretty good about myself, I thought about CHANCE... How that woman in the car and I just happened to be at that spot, at that particular time... I realized in that moment chance had very little to do with it. There was a much bigger power at work here...
I've always been a believer and now I had one more reason. (make that two more reasons…)