I had a telephone call recently, early in the evening, from someone I had spoken with earlier that day. Readily recognizable by Call Display first, and voice of course, the hairs on my neck bristled. Quelled panic, the flat edges of concern, and concise enunciation…Moments later I was out the door and on my way to help the caller in need.
It’s amazing how our involuntary reflexes sure to the fore, examples of which are a person’s amazing strength when another may be pinned under a vehicle or other weight. An adrenalin rush that’s inexplicable. Good Samaritan efforts by passersby when it’s clear immediate help is needed. The fight-or-flight response of reflexes contributes to “being calm in a crisis, then letting go after it’s ended” – a good cry, trembling and sometimes nausea or lightheadedness.
Several years ago while vacationing I was aboard a catamaran when the captain alerted to fellow mariners in distress. A personal watercraft had capsized and all that was visible was the snout bobbing above the surface. Clinging desperately to it were the driver and passenger, one of whom could not swim and was paralysed with fear. Two crewmen from our vessel dove into the water and swam to the rescue – literally prying his hands off the nosecone. Once aboard they were all rewarded with a tot of rum, hard-earned, and the sobbing man shivered despite the blanket thrown around his shoulders on a tropical day!
When we’re abed and in a deep sleep, roused by the ringing of the telephone in the still of the night, our reflexes bound us upright and on instant alert. Unless it is mistakenly a wrongly-dialled number intuition acutely messages to our conscious and now wide-awake self what We Already Know…