by Sandi Martinez
It was dark that night; around 9:30 PM, in 2006. I was driving back home from a friend’s house to Glorieta, New Mexico, a small village across from Pecos, NM. There was what looked like a big dog, perhaps a Mastiff that was about to cross I-25, a major intersection.
I slowed down quickly, but not quick enough to realize it wasn’t a Mastiff at all, but a bear. In my efforts to avoid hitting the bear, I crossed over to my left lane, (fast lane), and ended up hitting her; killing her instantly. She spun around out of control, my air bag exploded and I couldn’t see where I was going. I was still driving about 40 mph, and I sensed if I just turned slightly to my left, I would end up on the shoulder; which miraculously, I did.
Interestingly enough, a semi-truck had been driving behind me a few miles or so. The driver stopped a mile up ahead and came walking toward me. He was so concerned about me, but I was in shock and could only think about what I had done to the bear. I told him I was fine; tears fell from my face. Though it was August, I was shivering, my teeth clattering. The police were on their way, as was NM Dept. of Game and Fish. The bear was a female, about 250 lbs, with beautiful brown fur – as far as my condition; no injuries at all, just shaken and in shock for a few days.
Some situations in my life, have led me to experience incredible displays of drama, and confusion. But at that time in my life, I had been ready for a major change. Turns out the Universe thought so too, and only dramatic scenes would help me see that it was time. I call these experiences ‘wake-up’ calls. The bear woke me up that night. I’ll always thank her for her sacrifice, and feel that I am now doing something to help other animals, albeit from a distance. I feel lucky and honored to help students achieve this wonderful endeavor – becoming certified Animal Acupressure, Canine, and Equine Massage Therapists. I hope the bear looks down at me with a smile from wherever she is, and has no regrets. One big step led me to several other smaller, but significant changes that led me to where I am now.
What will it take to make that jump, take that giant step? Make that wild leap into the unknown? Hopefully, just a simple, well-educated decision!