Last week, while traveling back from Montreal to Toronto, my husband and I stopped at a service centre for a break.
As we were walking out of the service center back to our car, we saw a long lineup of cars waiting to get on the on-ramp of the highway.
Coffees in hand and masks off, we walked over to the edge of the grassy divide to get a better view, to find out why the traffic had stopped. A man came up to me and gave me news of what had happened – a tractor trailer jackknifed and six passenger cars crashed into it at high speeds.
We saw that police cars had blocked the highway and there were many cars waiting for the site to be cleared and for the medics to arrive.
I overheard that several drivers were saying, “this could be at least a couple of hours of waiting.”
But after 30 minutes, we both saw that the parking lot was getting empty and only a few of us were still hanging around. One of the employees of the service center walked up to us and said the manager had opened the back gate.
She informed us that we could use the unpaved road to get on a side street where if we turned right at the end of it; we could then go over a bridge and cross the 401. We could then drive west for 30 kilometers on a country road and get back on the 401 after the accident site.
We thanked her and with some unease took off in search of the back gate. It was tucked behind the large transport truck parking lot. We drove 2 kilometres an hour on an unpaved road with many bumps, potholes and big puddles to avoid a puncture and damage to our car.
At first, I said to my husband “let’s turn around”. But then, after a few minutes; the awful road ended and we found the country road that was paved and turned on it.
I was so surprised that there was life behind that service center. The service road was paved and lined with homes. There was even an entrance to a golf course.
There was life behind the cold, stark, ominous highway.
We passed cornfields with tall corn plants. We passed a small dairy farm where I saw a couple of cows with black and white hides grazing lazily on the grass. We passed a horse farm. We passed a run-down barn and a nice house with a blue roof. There was even a gorgeous rainbow across the sky.
We finally saw the signs of EDR 401 West and got on the 401 heading towards Toronto.
The accident reminded me of the stark realities of the pandemic.
The pandemic has created a huge change and an unrecognizable stop to the old ways of our lives. Some of us have lost our jobs. Some of us have our grown college kids back home doing distance learning. Some need to work from home and take care of the schooling of their kids from home. Some of us have lost our businesses and worse some have lost family members that we could not even attend their funerals. And some of us have lost the joy of summer travel or even swimming at our local pool.
How are you doing these days?
Are you ready to venture out the ‘back gate’ and discover the possibilities and beauty that life has in store for you? Are you ready to try something new? Are you ready to get off the stark highway and follow a new path? Or are you waiting in life’s parking lot waiting for the ‘on-ramp’ to clear up so that you can get back to your old life?
Book a coffee chat with me and we can explore together.
Photo by Patrick Fore