fireflies in the stormPosted: 2006/05/11
running past several vehicles on 95, i realized that the cars started slowing down. the rain poured so hard that everything outside almost turned into zero visibility. lightning crashed several times, but the sound was muffled by the music inside my ride. i could barely see the headlights of the truck behind me that my rear view mirror stopped dimming itself automatically. i knew that i had to slow down after the ride adjusted to imminent occurences of hydroplaning.
the rainstorm drew denser throughout the pitch-black sky that i started seeing nothing but splatters of water on my windshield. this thursday evening was getting darker and darker by the moment, my hopes of getting home early were slowly diminishing. the intermittent wipers started moving faster as i lifted my right arm in the air and said something in silence…
suddenly, i saw blinking lights all over the freeway. i noticed each vehicle turning their hazards on. i looked in amazement as i realized virtually every vehicle had their turn signals blinking on both sides. with enthusiasm i pushed the hazard button and started drifting in the moment. the turn signals on the front part of my side mirrors slightly illuminated the darkness. the red hazard signal blinked inside the control panel as i felt each shade of darkness and uncertainty gradually illuminated in hope. the uplifting music was still penetrating through my soul. i was going into a trance – some external force protecting my drive while i put my worries aside and fill my mind with snapshots of nostalgia.
our cars were like fireflies in the darkness, led by nothing but our minute incandescence in the dreadful storm. we were all strangers in the growing mist, but the gleaming trails of our lights connected all of us together – helping us get through this murky evening. it reminded me a few years back about a caravan of vehicles with blinking hazards right on 101, swerving through normal traffic yet following the hazard lights of each ride to a party. we didn’t know everyone’s names, but the music playing in our car stereos indicated that we were all going to the same event. moreso, it reminded me of my early morning sunday drives to los altos hills along 280 – the early morning mist from a nearby lake smothering the freeway with opaque white vapor yet the other cars’ lights guided me through the foggy, chevron-less path. we didn’t know each other during that early morning, but we strived to guide one another with the gift of light through the darkness.
i enjoyed the moment while blindly driving through the darkened freeway. the rain died down and i turned my hazards off. i thanked all the drivers silently for this trivial yet memorable experience. each one has his or her own light that attracts all of us into one wholesome experience that we call life. it’s definitely another one of those world flatteners.