In early December during rush hour, the car in front of me suddenly stopped. I had turned my head to change lanes and felt the crash on my passenger side. I recovered and fed into the lane, then pulled over on the shoulder as did the other vehicle. No one was seriously hurt; the other driver and her car were fine. She apologized and explained an idling truck had suddenly leapt into her lane and went on his merry way. Although I’ve been coping with whiplash, I am under the care of a wonderful chiropractor.

Since we called an officer to the scene to oversee the exchange of papers, he felt it necessary to give someone a ticket. I’ve now learned that to travel closely in spite of rush hour can be considered an offense. I was concerned because of my clean record. So I opted to go to the courthouse and put in my plea. From now on I will never assume the car ahead of me will continue at the same velocity when I look to change lanes. I thought that was my lesson and I was grateful to learn it; give myself more time, be patient and stay in lane with heavy traffic.

But there was more. You see, I’m getting hit with those big outer planet transits I’ve been talking about for the past year. Pluto (symbolizing transformation, power, destruction) and Saturn (responsibility and fear) are triggering growth in my sense of self. At the courthouse I stated my case, then waited in line to pay the fine, relieved that my record was intact.

As I waited I saw the face of Jacqui Saburido. I include the picture of her before the accident that changed her life. I researched her because I wanted to know her story. I know this may be a strong image for you to see, but remember, this is what Jacqui looks at in her mirror and we are all one.

As I waited, I could not take my eyes off this “don’t drink and drive” poster. Jacqui’s soul gleams out from the salvaged eye with bravery and compassion.

A memory surfaced with a sharp clarity. Long ago, when the drinking age in NY state was 18, I had slammed into another car as I fought the blur of too many White Russians. No one was hurt in that accident either. I wish I could say I learned to drink responsibly after that, but it took me another decade before I understood why I drank stupidly at times. I did however, never drink and drive again.

As I met Jacqui’s eye in the poster, I realized grace had saved me from learning that lesson at the cost of a life or another person’s pain. I had a great deal to learn about the dangers of self-medication. MADD and DARE didn’t exist. No one talked about it at that time. At least, no one I knew.

It is incredibly important to guide young people. My parents and the adults I knew drank at every social gathering, whether a wedding, funeral, dinner party, picnic or bridge game. Every day after work, they sat down with drinks. From my perspective, drinking was an integral part of relaxation or enjoyment. Of course, the grownups I knew drank highballs and cocktails, not sugary concoctions like Black Russians. A careless young woman can slurp down a sweet drink in no time at all… and another… and another.

At that time in my life, alcohol made me feel powerful, pretty and indifferent to authority. I did not consider the consequences, only the desire. Of course, there was nothing powerful about getting arrested and losing my rights because of a rash and stupid act. There was nothing pretty about having all my possessions and my earrings removed as I was left to sleep on a wood pallet in a cell with bars. And there was no indifference to authority when my father looked at me from the other side of the bars to take me home.

But as I stood in the courthouse this week staring at Jacqui, I truly understood what a gift my experience had been. I didn’t hurt anybody, but I could have. I embarrassed and freaked out my family but no one died. This young woman’s picture reminded me how we are all responsible to one another on this planet. Every time a person is in a spiral that is self-involved (like drinking unconsciously), he or she discounts this responsibility. The act of driving or being a passenger is an act of faith. We never really know who we might encounter as we rush along. It struck me that being present while driving is active meditation.

I’ve looked at Jacqui’s horoscope, the date of the accident and where we are now in time and I know, now that I am under the influence of her message, I am bound to share what I’ve learned.
To read Jacqui’s full story…