Heavy snowfall pounded the area as I was leaving for work this morning. The forecasters were all over the place with how much accumulation we should expect from the storm, but they were all in agreement that it was coming down too hard and too fast at exactly the wrong time.
My fear of driving in snow is legendary. As I engaged in the futile act of trying to shovel the driveway of The House on the Hill while it was snowing so hard, I couldn’t help but notice that my street had not yet been plowed.
There were blizzard conditions. I could barely see down to the corner, and the snow was piling up, unimpeded in the road. How in the world was I supposed to drive in this? Would I even be able to get off my street? Should I just call in sick and take a mental health snow day?
I was so tired of my crippling fear, and I really wanted to face it. After all, it was Spring now. I’d survived another Winter, but if I sat out this Spring storm, I was letting Snow Miser and my fears win.
Why wouldn’t Snow Miser pack up his snowflakes and allow the Spring flowers to bloom?
If I didn’t drive today, the fear would fester inside me until next Winter, and my anxiety would only get worse.
So I decided to drive to work.
Almost immediately, I doubted my decision. None of the streets were plowed or sanded. My car struggled to get up the hill on the street behind my house. Traffic was barely moving, as even experienced Maine drivers fought against the unsafe road conditions.
It was a simple right turn that I’ve made hundreds, maybe thousands of times before today.
This morning, however, it became a near death experience. My car slid on the wet, heavy snow and fishtailed out into oncoming traffic.
A black car, I don’t remember the make or model, but in my mind it had “DEATH” painted in huge red letters across the hood, headed directly for me.
I jerked the steering wheel as hard as I could to the right, narrowly avoiding a head on collision. car slid across the road and headed for the sidewalk.
I yanked the wheel to the left to correct my course, but as the snow pounded down relentlessly on the unplowed road, my tires simply slid again.
Right back into oncoming traffic. This time, there were two cars coming at me.
The drivers slammed on their brakes, but continued to slide towards me because the roads were simply $%^&.
I could feel the sweat soaking the back of my undershirt. I didn’t have time to panic, be afraid, think about dying, or regret my decision to face my fears.
I just pulled on that damn steering wheel with all my might and willed my car back into its lane. This time, I slid so hard across the road that I actually hit the curb. Luckily, I did not jump up onto the sidewalk.
One more correction, and I was back in the middle of my lane. I could feel the eyes of the other drivers on me, but I sensed that they were relieved for me and thrilled to see that a fellow traveler not fall victim to Death’s random request to dance.
Happy Spring! It’s a beautiful day to be alive!