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Close Encounters

Dennis L. Dossett
   (All Rights Reserved)

     
         Ever since sometime back in high school I've had the feeling that I am “in training” for something that I am supposed to do in this life. Over the years the feeling about what that something might be has changed as I moved from one phase of life into another, but I still feel that I am “in training” for something yet to come, and periodically that feeling is reinforced by some particular event.

         One such event in my life occurred a long time ago to most people, but to me it is as vivid as if it happened only yesterday. It was the summer of 1970, and my wife of almost 18 months and I were driving from Seattle to Moscow, Idaho to visit my parents one late summer weekend. We left Seattle early one Friday evening after work and headed out on the 5-hour drive to Idaho. By the time we reached Washtucna (a very small farming and ranching community that marked the half-way point on our journey), dusk had fallen and it was getting hard to clearly see the road ahead  –  almost time to turn on the car's headlights. Washtucna sits at the junction of Washington Highways 26 and 261 and, in those days, the only stop signs were on Highway 26, the road on which we were traveling.

         I drove up to the stop sign at the intersection, stopped, and looked to the left  –  no traffic coming that I could see  –  and then I looked to the right toward town. Again, there was no traffic to be seen. I took my foot off the brake and stepped on the accelerator pedal to cross the intersection when I heard a truck honking its air horn. The noise was so loud  –  so close  –  that it really startled and scared me. I turned my head to the left to see a large semi-truck and trailer bearing down on us at 50 or 60 miles an hour and only yards away. My heart leapt into my throat. I couldn't stop fast enough without ending up in the middle of the road and there was no way that stomping on the gas pedal would get us through the intersection in time. We were going to be T-boned  –  screwed  –  and there was no way out of it.

         What happened next I don't really understand. Everything went into slow motion and, just as Albert Einstein predicted over 75 years before, time and space were “bent,” “warped,” curving in what seemed like a delicate ballet of car, road, and truck. I was aware of the scene not only from the inside, but also from the outside, viewing it from a 360 degree perspective. I saw not only the events of the moment as they slowly morphed from one position to the next, I was also aware of much of my life to that point in time as well as events, people, and places that I had never seen or even thought about. It was surreal, but that was my experience.

         Exactly what happened physically, my logical mind still cannot recreate. All I know is that we ended up on the far side of the intersection, with the car stopped, and with me shaking like a leaf in a strong wind. I looked around and saw the truck stopped a few hundred feet past the intersection. The driver apparently saw us sitting there and turned his headlights on, blinking them several times as if signaling. I turned on my headlights and blinked them several times in reply, to which he started up and proceeded the short distance into town.

         I checked with my wife who was as shaken as I was, but she was OK. My mind was reeling, trying to process what had just happened. I remember the vague sensation of having passed under the truck's trailer in the middle of the intersection  –  all in slow motion  –  but it didn't make any sense. Our car was much too high and the trailer too low for that physically to have happened. Every logical possibility was discounted by one “fact” after another. It just “happened.”

         For the remainder of the trip I pondered the events of the evening, trying to understand what we had experienced. The only thing that I could conclude was that I was indeed “in training” for something, and that through God's grace, I was given the opportunity to continue my training for whatever it was that was yet to come. I still feel that way today.

         Another incident occurred in the fall of 1977. My wife was doing some volunteer work at a spiritual center in Seattle, Washington and I was supposed to pick her up on my way home. After I finished work for the day I drove north on Interstate 5, the main freeway through downtown Seattle. I got off the freeway at the NE 65th Street exit and proceeded to the spiritual center. At that point the freeway is probably 60-70 feet above the surface streets. I turned west to cross under the northbound lanes of the freeway when I heard a loud noise  –  a crashing sound  –  from somewhere

         I didn't know what the crashing sound was but, as I passed under the southbound lanes of I-5, something caused me to look in my rear view mirror. What I saw scared the living daylights out of me. What I saw was a chunk of concrete and steel railing half the size of my car drop onto the street with a tremendous crash about 20 feet behind my car. I felt the car shake with the impact; my insides shook for the next half hour at the thought of what almost happened.

         Once again I had the opportunity to ponder just what it all meant. Was it karma that just didn't play out like it should have? If so, would there be more events like this? Or was I just protected by my Spirit friends from my own errors in judgment as well as those of others? Is there really no such thing as an “accident”? Is there a message in all of this that I'm still not getting? What's the lesson here? Trust, perhaps? Or is it the case that I really am “in training” and being prepared for something yet to come?

         There have been other close calls in the many years since these incidents, but none quite as dramatic  –  thankfully. From my perspective of “experience” over the years, I'm now inclined to believe that indeed, there are no accidents. I believe that we really are protected by Spirit from things that occur not of our own choice, and I believe that those incidents really can be instructive and eventually instrumental in helping to make us who we have chosen to become. But I also believe that I am not yet who I chose to become in this incarnation.

         Training? Preparation? Well, why not? What else is life on the earth plane for?