The same phenomenon occurs when I dig through my purse in a mad panic looking for my keys and can’t find them. The keys are there, but the panicked thought that I have lost them prevents me from finding them. It has something to do with expectations and snap judgments, not only skewing or blocking perception, but also directing behavior.
Why am I rambling on about worry and expectations, you ask? It is because of deer, of suicidal, lunatic deer with a vendetta. I have blogged before about these deer and their porcupine cohorts and how I am constantly on the lookout for them. My diligence was paying off, too.
Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t hit any wildlife whiling driving (okay, there was possibly a small rodent or two, a multitude of insects, perhaps a confused bird that flew into me, but I don’t count those).
Needless to say, driving in Nowhere Land with all these animals (including strange “night people” I might add) darting out in front of you is a bit like playing a game of Pac-Man, and I like to let my family know I am a skilled player. I remind them at least once a day that I, Lala, am a Road Star driver.
No one is impressed that I am a Road Star driver.
Then it happened. It happened so quick and so unexpected that I am suspicious the Universe went ahead and out of the clear blue sky plopped a deer inches from my fender, making it humanely impossible to miss.
Why would the Universe do that?
Probably because all my Road Star bragging was pissing off the Universe.
I may have been unwittingly goading Fate, and I am someone who refuses to “knock on wood” or cater to any such superstitious nonsense (although inwardly my defiance of superstition, the supernatural and religious absurdity makes me secretly nervous – what if I’m wrong?)
Maybe the Universe wanted me to know I’m wrong and instead of conveying it in a coherent manner (which if I’m going to refer to the Universe as a sentient entity, you’d think it would be capable of clear communication), decided to go the passive-aggressive route. It said, “I’m going to teach Lala a cosmic lesson for her insolence towards irrationality and place this here deer, just so, so as to wake her from spiritual lethargy.”
The irrational part of my being is quite smitten with the above scenario depicting a personified, vindictive universe.
On the other hand, everything took place so fast that my brain could be overlooking the probability that I was momentarily distracted by the children in the backseat fooling around with my camera.
In the span of a moment, you’re being snapped in a picture and in the next instance you’re slamming into the rump of a deranged deer. Thankfully the Universe showed some mercy and did not position a vehicle in the opposite lane of oncoming traffic, which is where I swerved when I instinctively hit the brakes. Immediate adrenaline rush. I am not fond of adrenaline rushes.
I pulled over with heart racing and looked first to see the children were okay and then to see if the deer was lying crippled and dying in the middle of the road.
The children – the children were oblivious to our brush with death. I don’t know how they could have been so unaware, since there was a loud thud on impact and a violent jerking of the wheel, not to mention my own deafening scream of terror. But who knows what goes on inside the heads of children. They were probably preoccupied with new approaches for perfecting their whine, or asking the same question in a million and one different ways.
So the kids were fine.
The deer – the deer HAD to be hurt, but it was nowhere to be seen. It too must have had an immediate adrenaline rush that enabled it to continue running towards its desired destination without skipping a beat, even though injured.
So the deer was fine enough to run off and most likely find a peaceful spot to let nature take its course.
The vehicle – the vehicle appeared fine to my eye of Road Star expertise, except for perhaps a few short deer hair embedded in the left wheel well. Still, it seemed a miracle that there would be no damage after such a forceful impact. But oh well, why question a miracle? If you can’t explain something, you might as well accept it for what it is – either that or chalk it up to supernatural intervention. Either way.
So the vehicle was fine from my expert Road Star point of view.
The husband – the husband now refers to my Road Star status with only scathing sarcasm. I do not appreciate his mockery. Apparently, there WAS some pricey damage which he detected straight away with a mere glance. He pointed out to me the difference between the right and left sides and once made aware, there was no reasonable way I could deny there indeed was damage.
So the husband wasn't fine and the miracle theory was not fine. An ineffectual-Universe-is-trying-to-tell-me-something theory? Not sure – not sure at all…