What does an impromptu road trip to Saint Augustine and a lone windswept skydiver have in common?
It all began when doubt crept up about the wisdom of taking such a drive that morning. As much as I love St. Augustine something was amiss. But the day was so beautiful that even the warning screech of the hawks flying over as we got in the car couldn't sway our decision to seize the day.
About five miles from home, an inner pressure nudged me to call it off. We had packed a picnic lunch and it seemed like all systems were go, but still...
When I told Elliot, he said, sometimes we shrink back instead of pushing forward. So why not just keep driving and at anytime along the way we could turn around? At that point, I spotted a bus parked at the transportation terminal with the words FLOW in big bold letters.
The rural ride down Marsh Road, bordered by old trees and pastures, was pleasant to the eyes in the morning sunshine.
Then something unusual caught my attention as we drove by a country house with a large yard.
Had a skydiver drifted miles from Skydive DeLand? Something I read about from time to time, but never witnessed.
The parachutist appeared in the distance, gathering his expansive red, white, and blue nylon chute. An angel thought whispered as we quickly drove by, he may need a ride. The Perfect Spot at Skydive University was over five miles away. And, his patriotic chute...was a clear sign for our country to come together.
When I told Elliot ...he turned the car around, and we pulled up just as the wayward skydiver had opened the front gate to the road.
Sam was all smiles as he bunched up his RED/WHITE/BLUE chute and climbed into the backseat. To my surprise, he wasn't a novice. Sam had been jumping out of planes since 1991.
Do these kinds of things happen often? I asked.
His eyes widened. This was the worst.
With windy conditions like today, our group had jumped through the clouds and were disoriented. Drifting downward, out of the clouds, there was no place to land. "I thought I'd end up hanging from a tree top out in the countryside! Or worse, dangling from a power line along the road!"
Drifting lower to the ground, at the last minute, enough wind enabled me to safely maneuver a landing inside the fenced yard.
On the return ride to Skydive Deland, Sam was surprised by how far he had drifted. That would have been some walk!
Turns out his family of two green feathered parrots were waiting for him. A cute pair of Quaker parrots also known as Monk parrots. I got a photo of Sam with his patriotic chute, and his birds parked outside his camper.
Did you see our license plate? I asked, with a laugh. What you have to go through to meet some people!
He smiled, snapping the ANGEL LOVE plate to show who gave him a lift.
The angels had turned us around, and so we, too, re-calibrated and made local plans for the day. Thankful to have been on the road in a time of need.
Love and peace,