If this isn’t proof that miracles can happen… I don’t know what is!

I was driving back from Cornwall after a beautiful week by the sea recently. It had been a lovely week, full of long walks, wholesome food, good company and some much needed time to replenish my energies and catch up on my writing. But I was looking forward to getting back home and I was keen to make good headway on the roads.

It was already late and pretty dark when I left with my friend, in convoy in another car, when we both suddenly hit a very long traffic jam on the A30.

Three lanes of cars sat gridlocked, crawling along at about one mile an hour before coming to a complete stand-still on the dual carriageway. There had been a major incident ahead and I was slightly concerned because my sat nav wasn’t working and my mobile was running out of juice too.

The traffic went on for as far as the eye could see and we were going nowhere fast and I knew this stretch of road went on for miles and miles without any exits – so if the road had been closed, I had no idea how my friend and I were going to get home any time soon!

It was a frustrating situation for sure but I had some good audio tapes and music in the car and so I decided that I had to just surrender to the situation and make the most of it. Perhaps there was something on one of those tapes I needed to listen to again!

I could see people in the cars around me getting irritated and angry and I could palpably feel their annoyance because in many past situations I would have reacted in exactly the same way. However, on this occasion, I decided to change my perspective. It was, after all, nobody’s fault and there was nothing any of us could do to change the situation. It was what it was.

The only thing I could actually control was my response. So I decided there and then to try and stay calm, let go and surrender. I took a deep breathe, pulled off my heavy boots, popped on my soft pumps and tried to make myself as comfortable as I could be in the situation.

Almost as soon as I made this decision to simply let go, I suddenly got a sharp pain in my right foot and then a sharp pain my left foot and something inside told me to pull over and have a breather. I couldn’t drive if I had cramp in both feet anyway! So I listened to that voice, flashed my lights to my friend who was driving in front and listened to my body and pulled over. The queue stretched for miles ahead still, so I got out of my car to stretch my legs.

As I did this I noticed, in the darkness, a gateway slightly set back from the road which looked like the entrance to a field and as I was peering across a fellow commuter sitting in the queue leaned his head out of his window and said to my friend (who had also stopped) ‘I think that actually might be a back road off this highway according to my sat-nav!’ I had no idea because my sat-nav had stopped working some time previously and I hadn’t even noticed the gateway when I pulled over.

It seemed unlikely that I had randomly happened to stop in the pitch black right next to the only exit off this dual carriageway for miles and miles but maybe just maybe I had. Further exploration showed that it was indeed a narrow back road – so smiling like Cheshire cats – my friend, the sat nav driver and I all took a leap of faith and exited the main highway and sure enough found ourselves on a back road all the way to Oakehampton.

No one else followed us off the road they all remained sitting in the traffic jam for goodness knows how long probably wondering where on earth we were going. But it was certainly the right move. We later discovered the road had been completely closed and all the traffic had been congested for hours.

Our little three car convoy on the other hand, drove on a magical mystery tour, following our noses down winding back roads and quiet country lanes until we eventually re-joined the dual carriageway after the incident and had a clear run all the way back home.

When we finally got back, my friend and I couldn’t help smiling at the mini miracle that had just occurred and the wider life lessons reflected in the journey. These included:

1. You may not be able to change an event but you can change your response to it
2. Sometimes it’s best to just surrender to the situation
3. Listen to your intuition
4. Listen to your body
5. Watch out for guidance from the universe it may come in unexpected ways
6. Don’t be afraid to take your own path.
7. Don’t be afraid to change direction
8. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith
9. The road everyone else is travelling on may not always be the best way.
10. Happiness is found in the journey not just the destination