On Monday I paused at the top of the long downhill before me, feeling good. It had been a short and sweet 10-mile bike ride, and I was almost home. A few days previous I had taken this route and timed the descent perfectly for a green light at the bottom of the hill. Today I wondered what the universe had in store for me. Whatever the outcome was to be, I tried to expand my awareness to include a greater reality that I’ve felt not only in meditation but also in inspired musical performance: whether you call it the Divine, God, Divine Mother, the Universe, or Source.
I really hoped for a green light again—to use all that downhill momentum for the last straightaway mile. But I also knew that I might hit a red light instead, and mentally offered up that possibility to my connection with the Divine. I wanted more than anything to simply be content (my own attempt at non-attachment to outcome).
Flying downhill on a bike is highly addicting. I’m not one of those crazy cyclists who push limits on corners—one concussion was enough—but straight shots with a bike lane? YES!
I flew with soaring spirit down the hill, but noticed that the light hadn’t changed to green yet. I began to slow down, but still hoped for a green to salvage a little momentum.
It’s called a right hook—where a car turns right (in my case into a parking lot) without looking behind, and an approaching cyclist has no choice but to slam into the passenger side of the car.
I slid along the side of her car, had a vivid glimpse of the passenger side mirror (this object was WAY closer than it appeared), and then found myself facedown on the ground, my arms outstretched before me.
Quick check: ouch. Can’t move my left arm. Everything else: remarkably okay! I can even move my fingers! I remained facedown on the pavement and calmly greeted the badly shaken woman who came running out of the car. I consoled her as best as I could, in an attempt to keep out of shock and remain conscious and positive.
The next hours were filled with excellent care from the ambulance and hospital. All throughout the day I strove to maintain the same connection with the Divine who, instead of giving me a green light, gave me a slightly dislocated shoulder, possible rotator cuff tears and some huge nasty bruises and road rash.
But no broken bones and no head injury? How was that possible?
The only thing I can think of is that in my attitude of acceptance I relaxed enough to roll and bounce well.
My decision at the top of the hill to offer up my awareness and detach myself from a specific outcome possibly saved my life and career as a cellist (yes, I can play, although I won’t power through a concerto quite yet this week).
All great chamber musicians know how to expand their awareness to others in their ensemble in offering and invitation (one of the reasons why I love chamber music).
I realized this morning that living my spiritual path is like playing chamber music with the Divine: a dance, a connection, an attunement, and a conversation filled with perceptions and devotion.