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YESTERDAY I COULD HAVE DIED:

Sam Cutler

Driving from Canberra through the mountains I came to the top of a steep descent, at approximately three thousand feet. I changed gears and touched my feet to the brakes and the brakes failed. The brake pedal went down to the floor with no response, and it stayed there. Steering with my left hand and keeping a wary eye for oncoming vehicles I lent down under the steering wheel and managed to pull the break pedal back up to its original starting position .. it flopped around like a dying fish which was none too encouraging to say the least. Brown Mountain was looking ominous. The engine howled in protest in third gear and I managed to change down to second and nervously at slow speed made it down to the valley with a line of cars and irate drivers following behind. I thought calmly of a 'last ditch' scenario and reasoned that I could always crash the bus into the wall of rock along the side of the hill and though it would damage the bus I doubted that much would have happened to me and my passenger .. a bruise or two perhaps.

It was only when I arrived at my destination in the valleys below the mountain that I began to assess what had just transpired and though it was obviously a dangerous situation it didn't leave me frightened or disturbed. Passenger and driver dealt with it all with quiet aplomb. No lathering of the lips, no screams and yells. Just a silent appreciation of what response was needed and an understanding that panic would have been simply counter-productive and unskilled. We could have died .. sure. We could have flown .. if we'd had wings or sunk if we'd been at sea. But we made it and lived to see another day, and that's how I feel EVERY day. I made it .. here's another one to deal with. Call the mechanic, get more brake fluid, go for another walk. 
I got up early and strolled down the road in bright sunshine. On the bridge across the creek I looked down into the piddling stream and on the banks were the remains of an old bridge long since gone .. demolished in its time. And that was my yesterday .. like an old bridge replaced by the new one of today upon which I stand. Onward ever onward. Dylan said .. "everything passes everything changes do what you think you must do". The days come and go, we live we die, the eternal diurnal round continues until it stops. No need for panic hysteria doubt or any of the dreary emotions .. we'll get what's coming to us all in good time, sure as eggs is eggs. Now if certain people could simply realise THAT, life might be (at a minimum) a little more pleasant but no-one ever thinks that life is easy .. except me


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