Written Monday October 24, 2016
I have driven over that bump, over the hump of a railroad track trucking on through, many times. There is, I know, a “warning” telling of a heave up and down ahead. Through experience, however, I had learned to block that out of my mind, that is, I did not react by slowly approaching that place on that stretch of highway. So, I didn’t.
I heard a weird sounding lurch as I drove over the spot. Immediately I looked up at the rear view mirror. There was none there. So I twisted my head to take a peak back. It was gone.
I was driving the flatbed truck we call the 450. It’s a favoured of mine because of the standard gear switching. One of the features of that bed was that all around the edges there were holes for slots. Wooden boards with metal attached at both ends slid into those holes become slots when you positioned them just so. The back board with the metal had got up and wandered off. It was gone, gone away.
I turned aside off the road. In my mind I replayed what happened. I knew something was off kilter, but couldn’t quite place what it was. It was like a routine motion had decided to change the order of moves made. I thought maybe I would need to go for a walk myself, back to the scene of the wandering wonky board. As I was considering this, the replay showed me a blank screen. I didn’t remember seeing a board taking a flying leap, crashing and smashing to the pavement. At that very moment I rounded the corner of the rear of the truck, and what I saw was strange and wonderful. It shifted me into awe.
This is what I saw: the board was jammed into the hitch apparatus of the vehicle. This is what I imagined: the board saw an opportunity for freedom. It leaped for joy when we climbed the bump, the lump of railroad metal rising above the surface of the roadway. It jumped out of the slots as though manoeuvring around stones on the pathway down. It landed exactly between the ball of the hitch and into another narrow slot, as if it were quite sure this was where it belonged, as if to say, “Here I stand. I will not be moved.”
It took some doing to remove it. It was stuck in there, as if someone had taken some strong sticky glue and smeared it on thick. This short lived freedom lasted only a moment, yet it struck awe and wonder, startling, strange and wonderful, delighting in the retelling of the tale. It was an unrepeatable chain of events, down that familiar road.
Photo: The place where it stuck
There are other strange and wonderful things in this world. Many more. Think on the anticipation we experience when the weird sounding lurch announces we have a text message. Think on witnessing a man carrying a child close to his chest, and pointing out a sea plane coming in for a landing on the runway that is the bay the ferry is exiting. He speaks excitedly, with great enthusiasm in a language we can’t comprehend. Yet the impact of the moment bursts out for all to see.
Think of the boundless delight when someone jumps for joy right into the freedom that is theirs; they wander into the person they were created to be. They blossom and bloom where they land and get planted. They take root and flourish and discover all the things yet to be discovered. Ah, how strange and wonderful, this!
What strange and wonderful thing have you been witness to lately?