I’ve been in the news business for just shy of two decades now and I’ve seen a lot of different stories cross my desk both as a reporter and as an editor.
Some of them make more of an impression than others. Not every story from a council meeting or a press conference is going to stick in the memory for good.
But then there are stories like the one that Robert Barron wrote for our Wednesday edition about the Cowichan Lake couple who were almost killed on a logging road in Youbou in early February. That’s one I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
I read Rhiannon McCrea’s account of her near-death experience by rockslide, then took a good look at the photo of the couple’s truck. I’m astonished that anyone made it out of that vehicle alive, let alone with relatively minor injuries. They even managed to extract themselves from the wreckage before emergency responders arrived.
We agreed in the newsroom that the whole thing sounds like a scene from a movie. You can just picture the shot of the boulders coming down, and the tree falling, just missing them, the scramble to try to move to a safer position on the floor of the vehicle.
Coming so close to tragedy can make one contemplate life. Even reading about this near-fatal disaster can help readers put things in perspective — I know it certainly made me pause. And it’s just a really good read, if you haven’t looked at the story already.
Have you just been going through the motions lately? This brings home that every day the unexpected can take away, in the space between one moment and the next, the time we take for granted that we will have to do all of the things we want to do.
It’s not a bad thing to remind yourself from time to time that when you’re impatient to be stuck behind a really slow driver, you’re actually really lucky to be safe, warm, and not have rocks headed your way. Or when you’re having a bad day that there are still things in your life that you can count on. That maybe you should contact that person with whom you have a rift now, because time may be a luxury that’s running out, without you even knowing about it.
The adage is to live every day as if it is your last — or one of the many variations thereof. It’s easy to say, but hard to do, as our intentions get buried under routines and we get distracted by the trees, rather than seeing the forest — to use another popular analogy. But it’s good advice. Truly, today may be all we have. And things crop up from time to time, like this story, to remind us of that.