It was a fairly easy commute this morning. The three lanes of freeway traffic were flowing along at about 65 mph. There was, of course, the natural ebb and flow of cars merging, changing lanes, exiting, speeding up a bit, slowing down a bit, but for the most part it was an easy commute.
That is, until Methuselah decided to merge from the entry ramp to the freeway.
Within the time and space of about ten seconds, the millennigenarian managed to find an opening in the traffic and drive in.
Unfortunately, when he actually was in the freeway lane, he was not driving at 65 mph, or even 45 mph, or even 30 mph. No, he was the head-stuck-in-his-shell tortoise lumbering into the fast lane of hares, but this was not about “slow and steady wins the race.” This was about fast and ready keeps the pace.
Followed by a chain reaction of similar screeches as driver after driver after driver slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of them that had already slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of them.
Methuselah, oblivious to the sights and sounds of accidents being averted by the scared and angry drivers behind him who somehow managed to avoid a horrendous pile-up of accidents, continued to slowly accelerate until he managed to reach about 50 mph, still under the speed limit for that stretch of freeway.
As I thought about what happened, I realized that what bothered me the most about the incident was the apparently complete lack of awareness by Methuselah as to the conditions of the traffic he was driving into. Or maybe he had a complete lack of caring. In either case, it was dangerous. That he was oblivious to the flow of life around him, made me more aware of the flow of life around me.
Traffic, conversations, moods, productivity, relaxation, tides … almost everything has a flow to it. And I believe that the more we are aware of the flow of life, the more easily we will be able to adapt and swim with it, or become strong to swim against it.
What matters is that we are aware.