For as long as I can remember, I had this knowing of the place and the time and the cause of my death. This wasn’t a thought or a hunch or a feeling; it was an absolute knowing. Hard as a rock, set in stone, so much so as my dislike for bullies or my love for all things Scotland. It would happen before my 21st birthday and it would be death by drowning in the river. Being as I live in a city with two rivers, this seemed to only reinforce the probability that it would truly happen. Therefore, I cautiously avoided swimming in or even toe dipping into any body of water that was not a backyard pool for decades.
Fast forward to the mid 80’s and I’m with some friends and they decide to go to a fairly isolated swim spot somewhere along (wait for it) the River. Now, at this point in my life I’m about 19 years old so I now know everything. I decide it’s time to stop allowing this “premonition of doom” spoil all my fun. I’ve already been drinking, so what could possibly go wrong? I’m a mediocre swimmer and have never in my life swam in a river and I weigh about a buck oh five, so I’m sure it’ll end well.
I go up onto the rock and look down to see the hole that we are to (willingly) jump into and as the rush of the river fills my ears and the mist paints my face, I hear a voice quietly but firmly telling me to DO NOT DO THIS! Of course, that’s most likely the voice of reason, my intuition, but that’s nonsense (and I know everything, remember?) so I take a deep, shaky breath and I jump down. Immediately, the water’s roar has changed and it’s now coming from all around me and I’m disoriented, not knowing up from down. The voice in my head is louder and it’s now telling me to stay calm but the current has now carried me and has lodged me, shoulder and face, up against the rock with only a small opening to the left of me, but I can’t move. It feels as though the River is squeezing the air from my lungs and I am a tiny insect being slowly crushed by the sheer force of it.
Just as I’m ready to meet Jesus, I’m making promises about what kind of person I’ll be if I can just not die today, I feel strong hands push me to the side and free me from the rock just as I am about to pass out. As I launch myself above to the surface, gasping and coughing, I turn to see which one of my friends jumped in to save me, but I was alone in the river. None of my friends were even aware of what had happened and were happily drinking their beers and enjoying the summer day.
Just in case you were wondering, I have not ever set foot nor toes of any size in a river since. I have gone kayaking and was terrified the entire time. I’ve been on a boat since and was less terrified but I still felt as though I was tempting Fate. I think I’ll admire the River as I would a poisonous spider or a hungry shark; from afar, with a healthy dose of fear and with great respect.
I no longer ignore that voice in my head and I know what it is; it’s intuition.
“I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”~ Albert Einstein
As for those promises I made when I thought I was dying? I’ve been working on keeping those promises and trying to be the person I envisioned myself being, having cheated death. Quick to forgive, slow to anger and walking cautiously through the gardens of other people’s souls, leaving no trace and causing no damage.
I know we all have a voice that guides us and some may say it is their mother or father who has passed, some say intuition, others will say their ancestors are guiding them.
I’m alive and well today in spite of the fact that I chose to ignore my intuition and thought I knew better than that mysterious, omnipresent force inside my head and it’s surely an answered prayer that got me here.
What sort of experiences have you had with intuition or unexplained happenings in your life?