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Running Blind

Story ID:8632
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2013
Person:Me
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It was a bitter cold morning. The temperature was close to zero Fahrenheit.
I sat shivering in the car for ten minutes before I finally felt heat flow from the vents.
When the warm air cleared my frosted breath from the windows, I pulled out of the
parking lot and drove slowly through our neighborhood to the main street.

The roads seemed particularly dark that cold winter morning. The road seemed
darker than normal. “Maybe it’s because of the clouds blocking the winter moon’s
light.” I thought.

On the main state road that took me to my office, the glare from the headlights
of oncoming traffic blinded me. I struggled to see the edge of the road. I rubbed my
eyes. “Man! It’s really bad this morning.” I mumbled to myself, as I nervously continued
on my way.

I reached the city and felt better. The street lights lit the road. I could see better
and made it to work safely.

In the afternoon, as I waited for a report to run, I slapped myself in the head.
“Mike, you idiot!”

I leave my lights on all the time – day or night. While I warmed the car up
that morning, I turned the headlights off, so they wouldn’t disturb the people sleeping
in the lower floor of our building. I left only my parking lights on. “I bet I didn’t turn
them back on, before I pulled out.”

I didn’t notice it, because my dash was all lit up. I assumed the headlights
were on too.

Why didn’t the approaching drivers flash their lights to warn I was a hazard
to them?

After work, I got in my car, checked the lights and confirmed my suspicion:
my headlights were switched off.

As in life, we sometimes run without our lights on. Maybe we’re stressed over
unpaid bills. Our minds focus on them and not what is ahead of us. We lose a loved
one; we drive in the dark, blinded by the headlights of grief.

Not many will take the time to warn you to turn your lights on, “Mike,
slow down. You’re going through a lot. Focus on the challenges ahead.”

Do we heed the warnings? No always. Many times we are just running blind.

Michael T. Smith