GIFTS OF GAS

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The events were somewhat miraculous

and I had to know it

… but the gratitude I felt was in the same category as that felt when sitting down to a meal or taking a shower. Not that the gratitude was casual — not really.  But — there were the gifts, and that was that.

I had run out of gas six times while driving the roads of northern Arizona where stations were long miles apart in the 60’s, and every time it happened salvation was instantly visible within coasting distance. It became an inevitability. It didn’t occur to me, at all, that a situation could arise that would be dangerous or even inconvenient, and it didn’t enter my mind to carry a can of gas or even to check the gas gauge now and again.

My excuse is that I had learned to trust that my driving safety was assured. Part of the reason was that Hubby had been fanatical in his concern that I have a safe car ready whenever I might need it so that, for years, all I had to do was keep track of my keys. When he got a job in a town a couple of hours away and came home only on weekends I didn’t change my habits, and the tank would empty. On those occasions the engine would stop. But it wasn’t a cause for concern.

The first time it happened I coasted into a gas station near my work. The second time it happened I coasted into our driveway and put gas in from the can in the garage. The third time I had just crossed the mountains on a deserted stretch of road and coasted into the first gas station in the only town in the area. This kept happening, with variations, and I was never inconvenienced except the time I had to pour gas from a can.

But the day came when I made the drive down to Phoenix and ran out of gas while I was taking the freeway across town. Being dead in an inner lane on a high-traffic freeway was a different situation than losing power just yards from an upcoming gas station on the right side of an empty two-lane road, and I was somewhat alarmed. I was able to maneuver the dead car to the outside lane, where I found myself just at the right place to coast down an exit ramp. While coasting through a green light, A voice inside my head said, very clearly, “This is the last time,” and I then coasted, as I had in every case before, to an empty space at a pump.

That was the last time I ran out of gas, and life has been even better since I was taught that there is such a thing as depending too much on the Power That Is.

Peace.

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