Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Detect A Distinct Change In Myself

Some of you know that once upon a time I was a newspaper photographer. Even when I wasn't working I would have my camera with me, and if something newsworthy came up I was there taking pictures. Even on vacation: I remember one time in Vancouver when I ended up at the Vancouver Sun offices late one night, after having been scolded by the local police for getting too close to the action.

This past Sunday we went out of town to visit a corn maze with some new friends, and along the way we came across an accident that had just happened, so recent that there were only two other vehicles on the scene. I don't know all the details, but it appeared that a motorbike rider had been caught in a sudden gust of wind (and hoo boy, that wind was something that day) and had been blown into the side, luckily not the front, of an oncoming car. The car was parked further up the road, and I found out soon after that the woman driving it had a head wound that was bleeding like head wounds do. The motorbiker was lying on the road, with a woman from another car on her knees talking to him and his riding buddy standing beside him, and one more guy on his cell phone calling 911.

This tableau, in another era, would have inspired me to jump to it with my camera, get shots of the action and the injured rider.

Strangely, this time it didn't. We pulled over to the side of the road, and Tony and I both jumped out. I told him to stay on our side and I ran to the other, and together the two of us directed traffic, seeing how only one lane was open. Many people slowed down to offer to call 911, and one woman came over to offer first aid. I also ran to get a blanket out of the first woman's car, and then, eventually, two fire trucks and an ambulance came and blocked off the road and we all sat around and watched (barring a moment when I approached a firefighter to tell him about the woman in the car with the head wound, and so off he and a few of his cohort went), except for those people who decided to drive across the farmer's field. Eventually, the biker was loaded into the back of the ambulance and off they went. Judging by how things went, his injuries were not severe, although I suspect that at te very least he broke something.

It was about an hour later, while walking through the maze with my camera, that I thought about what I had done, and more significantly, what I had not done. And I was not disappointed by my response.

Surprised, perhaps, but not disappointed. And pleased that Aidan and Brennan were able to witness their Dad doing the right thing, not as a conscious choice, but just because it was indeed right.

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well done...
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