I was clipping along in my Jeep a few days ago on a straight stretch of road about 50 km east of Bancroft, Ont. when I was shaken up a bit by an unexpected experience. Let me tell you about it.
Heading in a westwardly direction on a clear, sunny day I became aware of a blue car coming towards me. I had no reason for concern until suddenly, a young moose weighing about 500 lbs. ran from the forest, emerging from it directly in the path of the vehicle heading towards me. By this time, the blue car and I were about 100 ft. apart. I suspect the moose came into view of the other driver when the big animal was probably about 25 ft. away from him. To avoid a collision with the moose, the blue car’s driver swerved into my lane. He succeeded in avoiding contact with the 500 lb. moose but was now directly in line with rubber and steel weighing in excess of 2 tons coming at him at 90 km an hour. The blue car and my Jeep were in line and about twice the distance of my living room apart when I decided, “Buddy, this game of chicken is something I’m not into,” and steered my Jeep violently into the empty lane. My Jeep fishtailed and shook, in response to my abrupt action with the steering wheel. The blue car zoomed by! But this story is not over yet. In the other lane now (the one I’m in) I see the moose in front of me. He is laying on his side. The moose, when cut off by the blue car had put his own brakes on. His hooves slid on the hard paved surface of the road and he lost his balance and toppled over. And now I’m bearing down on him! I pressed hard on my brake pedal with both feet. Tires screeched, the moose quickly uprighted himself. In full-blown panic mode he fled into the woods leaving the highway via the same route he had chosen to enter it. I barely missed hitting his hind quarters. Whew! That was close!
From the time the moose’s hooves touched the pavement until he leapt back into the forest, I’d estimate 5 seconds went by. Some not so pretty things could have taken place in that short period of time. Human life, mine and the driver of the blue car, could have ended in a bloody mess. I’m so grateful things did not turn out that way!
Life is such though, is it not? You go along in life, feeling more or less carefree, when all of a sudden something jumps out on life’s highway demanding your immediate attention. What you do or don’t do about it could spell catastrophic results for your family and community. What to do? What to say?
On our nation’s territories, bees are disappearing, droughts and forest fires are becoming more and more commonplace, sacred sites are being developed, a sorry state of affairs to be sure. What are we doing about it? Cranking up the music, toking on a reefer and sucking on a cold brewsky, fiddling away while Rome burns. We’ve become so numb and dumb, we do nothing! It’s as if today, we are caricatures of what a human being is meant to be! Whatever catastrophe comes down on our children, it will occur because of us failing in our spiritual obligations to Creator who made all things which help human beings to live well.
I don’t like it but that’s the way it is! Those of us who do get it need to keep up with our prayers and ceremonies. If we don’t, we will surely collide with what’s on the highway and many of us will not be as fortunate as I was to escape without being harmed.