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Little reminders

June 15, 2020
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Every now and then there’s an unexpected reminder: there but for the grace of god go I.

I have a regular cycle route. A neat 14-mile loop that takes in a mix of fields, and hills, and riverside. My least-favourite stretch is early in. A long straight road that switches to national speed limit between villages, the road surface pocked and worn by fast, heavy traffic.

I was just coming to this stretch when I saw another cyclist take a nasty fall. No traffic involved. But he lay there in the middle of this busy road, not moving, a dark pool of blood on the tarmac.

A walker, a passing driver, and I stopped to help. I blocked the road and called the emergency services, the others got him out of harm’s way. An ambulance came quickly, checked him out, started the process of persuading him to go to hospital.

Once I was no longer needed, I got on my way.

Ten – maybe fifteen – minutes had passed, but it set the tone for my thoughts the rest of the ride.

Life changes slowly or not at all, and then can change completely in the blink of an eye. As far as I know, the man’s okay – shaken, cut and bruised, but nothing more serious. But it could have been very different.

You can bubble-wrap your life to avoid any kind of risk, but what kind of a life is that? Far better to be doing the things you love and living well while you can.

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