Sometimes when I’m driving and have hit a stoplight, I get this strange feeling. There is no moment we can go back and recapture, but sometimes sitting with the red light shining above me, this seems especially clear.
It’s a moment like no other, me sitting in my car and the others waiting at the light with me, both beside and around me and across the intersection, their lights blending into mine.
Tonight on my way in to work it seemed especially magical. I stopped at the red light and watched a weathered man take his turn to cross. He carried two heavy plastic bags and seemed as if he’d been fighting for a while. My heart ached for him.
Crossing the other way was a young woman, maybe a student, crossing the street with her phone to her ear. Her pace was somewhere between a wander and a stride. I wondered if she had anywhere to be that night. It didn’t seem like it.
A cyclist crossed quickly, from my left to my right, toque on his head. The risks of cycling on the road flashed around me and I hoped for his safety.
Then the light changed, and the vehicles across the intersection moved forward and past us, while those of us waiting at the light moved forward ourselves. The moment was gone; the magic was over. .
Sometimes when I’m waiting at a stoplight, my imagination runs wild.