When I got off the T last night, the intersection at my stop was partially blocked off with crime scene tape. In order to get to the street where my apartment is located, I had to walk in the direction and directly around the tape. As I crossed the street and got nearer to the scene, I saw that there was a car and a mangled bicycle within the confinements of the tape.
It was clear by the atmosphere of the bystanders and the police officers that this had been a serious accident and the tape and number of officers wasn't for mere protocol. I was tempted to ask an officer what the outcome of the accident had been, but I didn't want to bother anyone nor was I sure that it was any of my business.
Today I couldn't stop thinking about it however. The bicycle in particular was burned into my brain. It had a pinkish-purple frame though it was an adult-sized bike. The tires had been bent and the seat twisted around a bit, but all in all it didn't appear to be that damaged. But I wondered about the cyclist; I assumed it was a she. How was she? Who was she? And if it even mattered, what caused the accident, who was to blame?
I monitored boston.com throughout the day to see if I could find out what the outcome of this accident had been. It wasn't until the later afternoon that I discovered that the rider of the bicycle had been a 24-year-old girl and that extremely unfortunately, she had died as a result of the accident.
Perhaps selfishly, as I think often happens in circumstances like this, I reflected it upon myself and through my perspective. This girl wasn't much younger than I am. She was in an intersection that I literally cross every day that's just a few blocks from my house, probably on her way to work or school or to visit some friends. Similar to endeavors that have also brought me to cross this very intersection.
Sometimes I feel so consumed with life, with worries and frustrations, particularly ones over a future I cannot control, that I forget to stop and think that it could end any moment. This isn't to say that I feel we should be consumed with death and the thought that life could end at any given time; but I do think we should maybe let some of the smaller things go and take time to remember what we're grateful for, who we're grateful for, the things in life that bring joy and happiness and that matter. I often forget to enjoy the life that I'm living right now and to be grateful for every day's experiences.
Perhaps it's clichéd, but clichés exist for a reason, and sometimes it's important to take stock of what matters, and what doesn't, and be thankful.