Have you ever had a near death experience? Like barely being missed by a car, or something? I saw a video last night of a girl who walked away from nearly being crushed under a dump truck. She was understandably shaken up afterward, and watching her brought back memories of two similar incidents from my past.
The first time I came near death, was my very first visit to the ocean. I was at the beach, swimming in the Atlantic. I was about five years old at the time, and my uncle thought it would be a good idea to take me way out in the water, on his shoulders. Of course, we were totaled by a wave and separated. I can remember trying to figure out which way was up. I wasn’t a good swimmer, in fact at that time, I’d hardly ever been in a pool. I blacked out in the water, and when I regained consciousness, there was a lifeguard leaning over me, while I coughed up sea water. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a distraught look in my uncles eyes as I saw that day.
The second incident was very similar to what I saw in that video. I didn’t look before crossing the street and was nearly hit by a woman in a sports car. Thankfully, she slowed enough so as to only bang my knee (very hard). I took a single step backward then, and was nearly splattered across the road by a speeding SUV that whizzed behind my back. That was the single most terrifying moment of my life. I really thought I was dead.
Now, I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with religion, as this is a religious blog. Here’s the thing. When I saw that girl almost get killed, it made me wonder if she changed anything significant about her life afterward. Was there something that she’d always wanted to do, that she’d been putting off? I’ve heard of people who’ve changed themselves pretty drastically after such an experience, and usually, it is through the prism of their religion that they make that evaluation.
It also made me think of my own life and religion. How many promises have I made to the gods? How many have I fulfilled? Is there anything I would like to change? I suppose it was a healthy fear of death, and wasted potential, that caused me to reevaluated what I’m doing with my life, but since the gods don’t put ideas in our heads for no reason, I’m definitely going to make some changes.
I’m starting small, with little things that have held my interest for a long time. First, I am resolved to read the Tarot for the public, which I have been avoiding like the plague. I usually only divine for friends and their acquaintances, but for the past year, there has been a push to get me to do it publicly. I suppose it can’t hurt, especially if I do it during the local Art Walk.
Secondly, I’m going to learn how to belly-dance. I have been infatuated with that style for so long, and there is a conveniently located studio next to where I would be reading the Tarot.
And the third thing on my immediate list: I will shoot my bow at least once a week, every week from now on. I will no longer allow my weapon to gather dust for months, or my arrows to lean, unused against my altar. In the name of Apollon, my Lord, will I do these three things. And in so doing, I will improve my life, my wellbeing, and my happiness.