I have been reading a lot on Buddhism recently, and this helped in being able to cope with what happened, what I witnessed, this morning.
I had woken early to find that the snow lay deep and crisp and even and got ready for work in a relaxed way, as for once I did not have to rush.
I got to the bus stop early, and the bus was typically 6 minutes late.
I was enjoying myself watching the people walking through the snow.
Mothers taking kids to school, people with black umbrellas starting to look like christmas decorations.
As my bus approached the stop somebody tried to run across the street. They stopped when they saw the bus approaching, but it was then that they slipped on the snow laded ground, made slushy by the morning traffic.
They fell forward before the bus and bus hit their head. This imparted a large amount of Newtonian momentum and their body snapped back, flipping them like a crash-test dummy, end over end, until their head hit the asphalt in the roadway … and everything just stopped.
The traffic stopped. People stopped. I stopped.
It was surreal.
It took a while for the ambulence to be able to make its way through the traffic jam caused by the accident.
Then two more vehicles with an extra paramedic team arrived.
The ambulence left slowly without its sirens blaring.
And the police escorted the distraught bus dirver away.
The bus was driven back to the depot.
It was later on the bus to work, when the bus service had resumed and I was 1 hour late for work, that I realised why the ambulance had left slowly without it sirens sounding.
How fragile life is. How fleeting.
For those who don’t know, the first noble truth of Buddhism is “Existence is suffering”